They say that hindsight is always 20/20 and after hearing the later works of DEW-SCENTED, such as the mighty Death/Thrash works of “Issues VI” or anything from around that time, it’s a little humorous to go back and listen to their debut “Immortelle”. Although one can hear where the band gets a lot of their foundational elements on this debut, when compared to their later works I feel that “Immortelle” is what I would consider a ‘learning experience’.
Firstly, most of the Thrash influence (particularly that of SLAYER) is missing from the release. It does make its appearances here and there, like on the song “Silenced” for example, but “Immortelle” is rather focused on generating a basis in the Death Metal side of the release. The band does it rather straight forward though, with lots of emphasis being placed on that main song rhythm with the crunch-tastic guitar tones and riffing, the simplistic and bombastic drumming, and the guttural roar of the vocal screams. Unfortunately, this album tends to take the Death Metal a bit too much to heart, and by song 8 or 9 I was ready for something new.
The band also throws in some odd moments that didn’t seem to fit what they were moving towards. With this Death Metal focus, why would a band suddenly throw in a keyboard intro on a slow plodding (and overly too long) song like “Black Is The Day”? That song tends to confuse me more than show me their diversity when it comes to playing. There are odd moments scattered throughout that tended to make me shake my head and think, ‘where the hell did that come from?’
It also doesn’t help that the production on “Immortelle” is rather poor. The bass drums sound popcorn popping in a microwave instead of thundering hooves from the four horsemen and Leif Jensen’s vocals are a bit hollow and overlayerd far too much for his style. It’s as if the producer wanted to add depth to the band in all the wrong ways. The band might have been a bit shallower on their writing for this debut, but the production just exacerbates it bound all hope.
DEW-SCENTED would end up becoming quite a little act in the end, but one would be hard pressed to tell from “Immortelle”. It’s a sub-par Death Metal release from a quite talented Death/Thrash band. It’s nice to hear their roots but as a fan, this is one of those that I tend to skip over.
Songs to check out: “Silenced”, “Thirst For Sun”, “…Yonder…”.
(Online September 25, 2009)