Varicella – “Dead Is Better” Album Review (metal/industrial)

a4226160623_16From our friends at Machine Man Records comes a hybrid gem of old school primitive industrial and metal.  Varicella’s Dead Is Better is our offering for today.

Blending influences from bands like Ministry, Skrew, Godflesh, NIN (old), Skinny Puppy and White Zombie….Dead Is Better reminds us of the rawness and the purity that got us into this music in the first place.  Frequently placed samples add to the overall effect that takes us to the old days of the likes of Skinny Puppy.  Tracks like “Mindfucked” and “The Sound Of Four” carry beats that are reminiscent of those on Godflesh’s iconic Streetcleaner album.  Old school drum machine sounds, raw guitars, guttural vocals all add to the purity that exists on Dead Is Better.

“Obey” is a pretty interesting track when paid close attention to.  Very rapid high-hat sounds and a drum beat about half the pace create a Ministry-esque background while vocals and guitars maintain a slower pace but oddly merge for a pretty unique beat.  “A Pause For Reflection” clocks in at just over 7 minutes as the obligatory industrial album long track.  A vocally venomous, oddly uncomfortable and slithering track indeed.

Now mind you…while Dead Is Better does indeed take us back to the days where live bands had their backing tracks on real-to-real tapes instead of Ipods, it’s done so in a pretty original and modern way… in other words, honoring the old but inserting their own input.  Highly recommended for fans of the days when REAL industrial began.  

Dead Is Better is filthy, creepy and disgusting….. the way old metal/industrial hybrids should be.

Dead Is Better is available on CD and digital download from Machine Man Records.

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