As crusty as a tramp’s cold dead arse, but twice as foul – nay, thrice, this nasty little ep is a certified antidote for the power of positive thought. Dead Existence is an alluringly bleak and charred ultra-punk name as if from the 1980s. DE themselves belch forth an equally bleak and charred punk sound but with violent lashings of power-drunk double-bass blasts and chugging metallic riffage. This is the third release by this brilliant London band (one 10 track demo album and one split with Dopefight) and it is genuinely a great and gorgeous listen. At first I thought oh spare me from another bunch of clueless crust-clones doing the expected thing, but no sir, this is very ACE. Yes it is crusty, but in a twistingly clever and reverential way. The skeletal Rudimentary Peni inspired artwork (by Mikhell of Lazarus Blackstar) is also very cool indeed.
Two tracks are on offer here, which clock in at a total of 26 minutes. Not long enough for my greedy ear. Track 1 (Down The Crooked Path) is a festering riot of bent notes, hoarse roars, minor chord misery and tempo-changes worthy of a good old fashioned thrash metal band. Track 2 (Gutless and Full of Shame) is also a riot of bent notes, hoarse roars, minor chord misery and tempo-changes worthy of a good old fashioned thrash metal band. 26 minutes of putting you in the frame of mind for a bitter stumble through the oxidised industrial wastelands of this raped and polluted land. Hard and cold metal that has no pretence whatsoever. DE could almost be from shit-city-central; Birmingham (home of aesthetic abandon). Like all the finest punk infused metal, this ep makes you feel absolutely FROZEN and ALIENATED.
‘The rivers running empty and the sky is turning grey’ is a lyrical indicator of a crushingly black pessimism that is perfectly matched by the depressing beauty of the sub-industrial pseudo-psychedelic crust-thrash dirgecore that DE deftly vomit from their atrophied serotonin-starved brains. Deviated Instinct and Antisect wrestling with Crowbar and Unearthly Trance doesn’t really come close to trying to describe the sound that these miserable yetis wrench from their banjos and bongos. The musicianship is veteran level metal and the vibe is sitting smoking roll-ups in a foul and cloying 1950s-style kitchen under a bare light bulb, staring through tears at the decaying rat droppings on the greasy floor whilst an empty train rattles by the barred window. Love it. It’s like Maggie Thatcher never went away.
Scribed by: Adam Stone