A Melodic Death Metal quartet from West Virginia, Deathless have skipped past the “let’s do an EP or some singles and fathom out our sound” phase and dived head long into traffic with their full debut album. Forming in May 2018 and releasing their first single a year later in “Into Depravity”, drummer Shane Polk, guitarist Jacob Nates and vocalist/guitarist Conner Mowery seemed only to be slowed down by one thing. The absence of a bass player. Fortunately 2019 saw Alex Kimble complete to the line-up so “The Prophecy” can begin…
…Cinematic opening “I” is a 60 second instrumental reminiscent of “Ecstasy Of Gold” by Ennio Morricone and often used by Metallica, with rich orchestral sounds adding to acoustic guitars that place you firmly in Western territory with Clint Eastwood at your six. “Perdation” then brings the galloping rythmic groves with a bit of Lamb Of God about it in the riff department. The virtuoso solo is a piece of marvel with a clean energy and classical Metal feel before fading out gracefully. Title track “The Prophecy” is as you would expect a blistering riff fest with hints of “Ascendency” era Trivium minus the clean vocal elements. Shane Polk gets a full work out on the drum stool with blast beats, big fills and the kind of energetic footwork that Grindcore fans eyes light up to. The lead flourishes add the Melodic Death Metal parts and give everything a shine as if caught in the Moon’s reflection on a dark night. Indeed if “The Prophecy” was the next Trivium album instead of being by Deathless, no one would bat eyelid, such is its quality. Yes, it’s heavier but it has all the technicality and virtuosity of playing that the Florida natives use and more.
Turning up the heat with “Absence Of Truth” which comes to the boil very quickly as a constant headbanger of a track delivered at breakneck speed. “In the absence of truth, we wither away” is the cry and Conner Mowery’s rasped unclean vocal knows no limit. Building in some piano work and acoustic guitars, “Departure” becomes a Between The Buried And Me esq Progressive Death Metal track that refuses to let go of the blast beats of ferocious unclean vocals despite the melodic bridge and some off kilter odd time signature riffage. Not that it needs cleans vocals, it’s just that you’d kind of expect them as the music lends itself to them and Deathless neatly side step the opportunity. “II” continues the atmosphere of “I” with a 57 second orchestral piece that acts as an introduction for “Into Depravity”. The first single is a ripper, going straight for the throat and showing absolutely no mercy. The scaling lead flourishes are masterful while Mowery paints lyrical pictures with his vocals being clean enough to be able to understand every word and the spoken word part is kept short and sweet. That’s “clean enough” not “clean”, let’s be clear, there are no sung vocals present at any point on this cut.
“The Adversary” continues the pace and energy of “Into Depravity” making more of those lead flourishes and gradually slowing down to accommodate a slow crush whilst never reaching the depths of a Downtempo groove. Switching back to the Progressive Death Metal feel “In Aeternum” gallops like a prize race horse being whipped to within an inch of it’s life, an instrumental that explores riffs, gradually expanding the concentric circles with adrenaline fuelled flare. If anyone needs a theme song or Metal riffs to accompany a chase scene in an action blockbuster, pick up the phone to Deathless. Piano creates a meloncholy mood that breaks with a bludgeoning wave of bast beats and climbing, soaring beauty riffs in Melodic Death Metal tones before the vocals kick in during “Imprisoned”. They are the heaviest part and just when you thought the album would finish without any clean vocals, Mowery shows he has the range to do it with a couple of lines before some impossibily fast lead work that will leave those learning wondering how they could ever match it. The sentiment of the track is about those mental prisons we build for ourselves and letting ourselves be free so the contrast between the aching melodies and a savage relentless battering is a piece of magic. The future for Deathless knows no limit, their skill is phenomenal and by the time this one reaches its sobering thought provoking conclusion, you’ll want to rewind the tape and play it again [8.5/10]