Dew-Scented - Intermination - (8.5/10)
Published on May 30, 2015
One more for the books.
If there is anything one can expect from the latest Dew-Scented record, it’s that it will be ridiculously consistent with the rest of their catalog. Just like the pattern of naming all of their full-length releases with a title starting with the letter ‘I,’ this latest record is one more straight up gut punch of death thrash to add to their already significantly refined history. Call it a blessing or call it a curse, the band continues to do their thing and if you are a fan then you are certain to find plenty of tracks worthy of your time. For Intermination, their tenth full-length record, the band continues off the quality of Icarus from 2012, and while the overall sound is the same – this is one of the better records from the German machine.
At this point though with ten bullets in their album belt, Dew-Scented has refined their sound to a blue print. Like a well-known blue print that dictates what goes where and the general shape of things in the larger picture, it’s truly the details that matter. Intermination might be one of those records that seemingly plays it safe by sticking to the blue print for its core sound of riff, riff some more, growl, inject a bit of guitar melody, riff again, and bombard the listener with dense drumming and bass, it’s also wholly efficient at doing this. Outside of a brief introduction piece of slow build, Dew-Scented are not altering the blue prints hardly at all. Vocalist Leif Jensen gurgles and roars his way through the record, the guitars intertwine that 90s style death/thrash riffing with expert precision, the bass bounces through it, and the drums alternate between double bass explosions and thrashy pops. This is a blue print that works for them and it’s here to stay.
So why is Intermination one of the better albums released by the long time German death thrashers? On first listen, this album is simply more of the same from Dew-Scented, resulting in what I’m sure will be a lot of less dedicated listeners tossing it aside without taking a bit of time to dig into it. Like most of Dew-Scented’s material, Intermination is best on its tenth spin as all of the layers start to peel back to reveal a band that is oddly subtle in their bombarding rhythm work and song writing. Songs like “On a Collison Course” and “Reborn” are going to be break neck speed obliterators, but the band slides in some nice diversity to compliment the status quo. “Living Lies” uses a mid-tempo stomping structure with occasional melodic tones to set itself apart and “Power Surge” isn’t afraid to tuck in a bit of modernity into its chunky riff work and stop and go structure. The band isn’t going as far as throwing a ballad to break up the concrete heavy attack, but there is definitely an effective nuance and blend to the change ups to make the record open up bit by bit on further listens.
That being said, Dew-Scented are certain to have a specific fan base that are going to either leap into Intermination immediately or ignore it after a spin or two. For those with a bit of time to dedicate to the record, I highly suggest giving it the time to grow that it deserves. It might adhere to the blue print that this band has always utilized, but it’s still one of the better constructed pieces of work they have released that really develops on repeated spins.