Finnish Valkeakoski-based death metal band DEATHING has released their debut EP, “All Hail the Decay,” on 22 May 2020 via Inverse Records. Their single “Crash & Burn” offers a glimpse of the ruthless overachieving of today’s society.
The band was formed in the spring of 2014 when former bass player Marko Mäkinen picked up his guitar and started sending riff ideas to drummer Mikko Kivimäki. Bass player Rami Vartiainen and second guitarist Mika Lehtinen soon joined the fold. After Lehtinen departed due to lack of time, Aleksi Tossavainen took up the guitar duties and DEATHING was complete in its current form. In 2019, the creative ideas started flowing more freely when recording the drums for the debut EP, as the material seemed to show great promise. Never intending to reinvent death metal and incorporating influences are from the 80s and 90s, they create music on their own terms, following their passion.
Opening the EP on urgent and heavy guitar riffs is “Kings of Terror,” which continues with powerful drumming, a chugging guitar pattern, and an interesting choice of vocal stylings. Unlike most of the vocals usually heard in this genre of metal – resonant growls, deep harsh vocals, or even grunts – Marko Mäkinen’s delivery is quite different and not only on this track, but throughout the EP. He is mostly screaming or using his higher register more than his lower notes, which contrasts neatly with the instrumental parts and makes it easier to understand the lyrics. This is such an intriguing take on death metal. Combining some thrash metal riffs and death metal nuances, “Kings of Terror” is definitely a suitable song to start an EP and get the listeners engaged. Single “Crash & Burn” is a groovy, fast-paced monster of a track that twist and turns as it unfolds. From speedy guitar lines to pounding drums to an ever-changing vocal delivery, this one really keeps the listeners on their toes. It shows the band’s creativity, as the track flows beautifully despite all these internal changes.
Up next is “Dead World Alive,” a more straightforward composition with a slower pace to the instrumental and a somewhat predictable progression. The guitar melody is catchy and the vocals are again diverse, varying from a raw feel to some cleaner ones. “Sickness” picks up the pace with a strong death metal backbone to it. The riffs are heavy and aggressive and the deep growls that we didn’t get to hear up until now sound perfect. This short track packs quite a punch – brutality unleashed and probably the best moment on the EP. After four original songs, DEATHING offers the listeners a take on the track “Blinded by Fear” from Swedish melodic death metal legends AT THE GATES‘ classic album, “Slaughter of the Soul” (1995). Not diverging very much from the original, the raw energy and fury of this song closes the EP on a high note.
To sum it up, “All Hail the Decay” is a solid EP that offers a lot of diversity during its playtime, but also has a great sense of consistency to the sounds and moods it displays. With strong production, impressive vocals, and the chops to pull this off in style, DEATHING may go a long way if they keep this up.
Written by Andrea Crow
- Kings of Terror
- Crash & Burn
- Dead World Alive
- Blinded By Fear (At The Gates cover)
Marko Mäkinen: vocals & guitars
Mikko Kivimäki: drums
Rami Vartiainen: bass