Review: “Death Rectangle” by Draemora

Having released their debut EP “Awakening” a year ago and being unable to tour, Seattle Washington Progressive Death Metal quartet Draemora made the decision to remain in the studio and to continue to work on new material. The result of that time spent is a new full length album entitled “Death Rectangle“; with a line up change seeing guitarist May Taylor exit stage left to be replaced by bassist Ricy Bjorklund.

Stylistically, Draemora have continued where they left off with “Awakening” in more ways than one; the sound following a similar ark to “Legion of Scum“, the track that closed that EP and found the band moving into more a more DJent fuelled powerful polyrhythmic battery style of Death Metal. Weighted down by bludgeoning groove and when you combine that with Taylor Wood’s lyrical insights, essentially you have the the core ingredients of what would make a good Hardcore band. The absence of any solos is made up for by angular guitar attacks that make the best use of the heavy gauge strings on what could well be an eight string; its a style choice that works for the band with each cut slapping hard without straying too far from the path they’ve chosen to follow. The songs instead rely upon vocal change ups to make the point of difference and it works for the most part because As the album progresses Taylor Wood finds new lows with his vocal chord lacerating roars while the combination play between them and the clean vocal parts becomes less and less formulaic; sometimes more prominent than others and not at the same point in every track. “Requiem” for example has them in mournful and melancholic fashion that upon first listen seem a little strained; but you come to enjoy over multiple listens. There are also shriller unclean vocal parts on the likes of “Gouge Out My Eyes” which are few and far between, definitely something some would like to hear more of in the future before the drug abuse themes of “Blood Moon” cross into the “Screaming Into the Void” as they play perfect partners. 

Having said that, it’s actually the first three tracks which shine the most, “The Cleansing” serves as something of a reminder of all that is good about Draemora; chunky Death Metal riffs, Taylor Wood’s barked vocals; a Grunge learning passage with clean vocals providing a melodic escape before a science fiction movie style synth palette cleanser to close. A metaphorical line in the sand and perhaps not the vicious straight for the jugular moment that other bands would have gone for, but still one that drives home the coffin nails with verve and dexterity. Continuing the path with more sinister tones, “Slaves Until Death” then brings a darker atmospheric with some chunkier rhythmic breakdown moments and sinister moments of additional riffs in the background that feed into the DJentisms of “Death Rectangle“. The cuts flowing together like a river into the sea, each one showcasing something slightly different sonically while bleeding sociological ideas with thinly veiled commentary on life in the digital age. As title tracks go, this one has groove for days and a powerhouse kit performance from ex-Jesus Wears Armani drummer Jared Conelie; a deep dive into how the smartphone is destroying peoples minds, the quiet killer in the room that people haven’t yet noticed is breaking down society. It’s subtle but as effective as a wrecking ball and leaves you with plenty to think about after the album is done, which is clearly the intension. As sophomore releases often do, this one has seen the edges sanded down and the sound smoothed out with a clearer sense of what this band will be going forward. The only question is, have they gone a bridge too far and removed some of what made their debut great? [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. The Cleansing (6:06)
2. Slaves Until Death (4:44)
3. Death Rectangle (4:19)
4. Requiem (3:23)
5. What You’ve Become (5:00)
6. Gouge Out My Eyes (3:57)
7. Blood Moon (3:34)
8. Screaming Into the Void (3:56)
9. Metacognitive (4:08)
10. Victorious (3:36)

Death Rectangle” by Draemora is out 18th June

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *