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DEATHSTORM - Blood Beneath The Crypts (12" LP)

Austria | Thrash
Price Range:   $15.75
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Austria-based thrash metal hopefuls Deathstorm have been added to the High Roller Roster and are now unleashing their second full-length album "Blood Beneath the Crypts". The Styrian crew formed in 2007, first starting out as "Damage" before changing their name to Deathstorm in 2010. From the very beginning Damage/Deathstorm have been celebrated as a true kult band that manages to keep the balance between continuously building up a fanbase and staying true to the (Austrian) underground. Vocalist and bassist Mac gives a short account of the history of Deathstorm: "Celebrated? That must have passed us by, ha ha! Back when we started there was no 'underground' or anything. We were surrounded by very arrogant people who played in very ridiculous bands which is what motivated us the most to start our own thing. We have always been influenced by Metallica, Iron Maiden, Mot-rhead and all the other classics, but somehow nobody in our area who claimed to be a 'Metalhead' was into those kinda bands. It was rather that everybody hated and despised them. That was basically the reason why we started DAMAGE; to show everyone what heavy music is supposed to sound like. We started out as a five-piece but after a year of little progress, we stripped the line-up down to a three-piece which resulted in the release of our first demo soon after. After that we played our first gigs, recorded another demo, signed with I Hate Records, released an MLP and our debut full-length, added a fourth member to the group, released another EP and here we are now, awaiting the release of our second full length which we are very proud of, to say the least."
Mac also tells us about the goals Deathstorm had set themselves for their sophomore studio album: "Our goal was to progress in every kinda way, which we have achieved in our book. Of course, as soon as you have finished a recording session, there are always some little bits and pieces you would rather have done differently, but as long as they stay at a minimum everything is fine. With this recording we have become a lot more mature we'd say. The songwriting is a lot better and more thought-through, it is still chaotic and fast but as a whole, the album is a lot more consistent than the last one. We definitely made the album we intended to make." Though developing as musicians and songwriters, Deathstorm stay true to what they love: Old School Teutonic Thrash Metal; therefore "Blood Beneath the Crypts" shows progress in quality, not in style: "We got better at playing our instruments, got some tricks up our sleeves with regard to writing songs and gained a lot more experience with the recording process. Basically the new material does not differ a lot from the older stuff, it is just, and as I have mentioned above, more mature and 'thought-through'. So generally speaking, approaches were actually not changed at all rather than improved."
After first reducing the band to a three-piece, Deathstorm have re-grown into a quartet by adding Steindl on second guitar. Mac on his newest band mate: "He actually already joined in late 2012, shortly before 'As Death Awakes' was released. On 'Blood Beneath The Crypts' he contributed some of his ideas as well as a shitload of hellraising and mind-bending guitar leads from beyond." New band members often bring some changes; so how much Damage is still left in Deathstorm? "DEATHSTORM basically is 100% DAMAGE plus another 25% Steindl. It is still the same vision, the same hunger and the same attitude. We started off with a more speed metal oriented sound, you know, those typical "Kill 'em All" riffs etc. After a while it naturally progressed into heavier and more evil sounding compositions. On the one hand we got faster and faster but on the other we also included mid-tempo parts, which got as far as even having hints of Doom in our music. The doomier parts are fairly 'new' but mid-tempo stuff could already be heard on our second demo 'Less Silence, More Violence' with songs like 'Desperate Acts' or 'Satan's Spell.'"
One particularly cool song on "Blood Beneath the Crypts" is the last track "I saw the Devil", especially because it has this unusual opening riff with a deep black touch. "Thank you very much! But to be honest we do not really understand how quite a lot of people tend to hear black metal influences in our material. Of course there are some hints in tracks like 'Consummate Horror' off of last year's 'The Gallows EP' or 'Nihilistic Delusion' from the debut full-length, but to us our sound is way more on the death metal side of things." Mac himself finds it hard to pick a favourite song: "We actually love all songs equally since they are our blood. But if we had to pick one, we'd probably choose 'Verdunkeln' and 'Murder of a Faceless Victim.' We debuted 'Murder...' during a gig at Helvete in Oberhausen last September and 'Verdunkeln' last week at the 'Alpine Steel Festival' and they are one hell of a lot of fun to play live. The crowd reactions are great as well. Those songs give and take a lot of energy which is what we are aiming for."
So far reviewers are haven been very pleased with Deathstorm's true-to-the-bone mid 80's old school attitude & music and for sure this can be said about "Blood Beneath the Crypts", too. It's another offering of uncompromising Old School Thrash in the veins of the legendary Kreator and other Teutonic Thrash heroes. Is that right or is there anything missing, any other influential band you would name? "No, this is 100% correct. German heroes like (old) Kreator and especially Sodom are some of our main influences. Other than that it is the classics like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Mot-rhead, Black Sabbath, Priest, KISS... (the list goes on forever)"
With a title like "Blood Beneath the Crypts" it's no surprise that the album's lyrics deal with death and dying, but Mac is more an expert on the topic than most other thrash vocalists are: "Besides studying I work as a mortician, so death is pretty much the omnipresent topic throughout all of our songs."

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