Die Like Gentlemen - Five Easy Lies (2015)
Die Like Gentlemen's signature sound, is that you can't easily describe their signature sound, just put it somewhere in the neighborhood of "Brutal Progressive Sludge Rock" for argument's sake. You're left slightly scratching your head after the first listen, not entirely sure what you just listened to, but damn sure that it was heavy, and that you have to push play again so you can figure it out. While I suppose experiences may vary, but anytime you're immediately compelled to press play again after listening for the first time, that's a good one in my book. Their second and latest release "Five Easy Lies" came out earlier this month, and it's excellent follow up to 2013's "Romantic Delusions of Hell", no sophomore slump for these guys. Forever treading the line between rock and metal in their music, you have gruff, sometimes guttural vocal performances on top of roaring guitar riffs that all of the stock footage of nuclear mushroom clouds on YouTube wouldn't do justice. The rhythm section of the group is tight, and loud, with lots of low end bass guitar rumble, and machine gun snare drum bursts. The whole drumming performance really stands out on this record, always seeming to push the urgency of the track in question. The top song from "Five Easy Lies" for me was probably "Animals of Romance". Really showing off their Progressive chops on this one, it opens with a Stoner-esque riff, but it soon delves into the depths of darkness, becoming gnarled and deadly. The vocals take a bold and dynamic turn on this one, saving some of the raw, guttural stuff in exchange for even larger, dynamic, Doom Metal styled singing that boarders on Grunge sometimes, as does the whole track at points over the almost eight and a half minute duration. Running the slalom of Sludge, Doom and Grunge all the way down the track, with lots of time and room to explore. Towards the end of the song, the band moves back toward that devastating Sludge Metal sound, but the vocals never make that move and stay the course, really making the instruments behind it stand out as a result. But of course, it couldn't just be over, that wouldn't do for an ending to a song this epic in proportions. One last transition to a slower, more mellow section rounds everything out nicely for the last minute or so. For the best way to experience Die Like Gentlemen though, go to their bandcamp and give it a listen. It'll be some of the most creative Sludge Metal you'll hear all year.