Review: Dead Inside – Millions Dead [EP]

Dead Inside are a brutal beatdown/deathcore four-piece heralding from the fair lands of Nottingham and as they creep into their second year of existence, they have released their second EP Millions Dead. What can you expect from taking a listen to these folks? Well, imagine any beatdown and deathcore you have heard before, because Dead Inside haven’t yet found a way to make a niche that is unique enough to call their own.

Opening track ‘For Every Infant In A Body Bag’ is slow and ominous, mixing in elements of death and half-stepped hardcore. From the outset it is clear that the band aren’t aiming for a polished production sound, which is good because too much deathcore gets watered down by being overproduced and polished until it goes flat. No, that isn’t something you could accuse Dead Inside of. Their raw emotion is evident in every crunching guitar chord, in the sardonically growled lyrics (which are pretty mordant on their own) and in every slow crash of the drums.

What is crafted here is straight-up angry and aggressive, without any need for merely implied emotions. If the gory design isn’t proof enough for you, upon hearing Daniel’s screamed vocals and the punishing – but perhaps drawn out – breakdowns you are left in no doubt, Dead Inside want this to sound as violent as possible. The guitar is even tuned to Drop E, making the sound emitted through the EP all the heavier.

The EP’s second track, ‘Deicide’, delivers on any expectations left by the opener, but without ever really going beyond those expectations. There are plenty more crashing cymbals, guitar crunching and blistering vocals, but there is the feeling of predictability around it. What may have once been hard-hitting lyrics, “If there was a god / He would have to beg for my forgiveness”, sadly just make me feel even more uninspired by the music. I’m happy to hear bands use their music to question, criticise and say ‘FUCK YOU’ to established conventions, but this just sounds like shitting on religion because it’s ‘the hardcore thing to do’.

Even in the delivery of the strong and raw breakdowns, there is no dramatic or dynamic change of pace to lead the breakdown in and in some sense the entire songs become a breakdown – which kind of removes the need of or interest in a breakdown altogether. The EP feels at best a little safe and at worst wholly unimaginative in terms of what the band deliver. You won’t hear anything here that you couldn’t find somewhere else on the radar; it sounds generic and expected after the first few chords, bringing nothing new into the genre.

If you’re into this genre, then you might wonder what I’ve been chatting on about as you should get some enjoyment from this release, but there is not much crossover appeal for fans of other metal. As someone who usually leans more towards metalcore or something a tad more melodic, I found the slower, heavier nature of the music a bit laborious. So it falls very short of making any big statement within the metal world and there isn’t anything on this record which will set this band apart from the majority of beatdown bands out there. BUT, as far as performing within a genre goes, this band are definitely solid and perhaps it’s all we should expect from a band that is still in its infancy, so I’ll withhold any strict or unfair judgements, until next time…

2 out of 5 high fives!

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