Album Review: World Under Blood - "Tactical"

Expanding on what we were talking about last week, this album from “World Under Blood” hits closer to the proper death metal mark. “Tactical” blends all the right elements of creativity and power, leaving them in a rough blend that keeps the listener off balance and explores greater artistic depth.

Born out of the brain of CKY’s Deron Miller and Divine Heresy’s Tim Yeung, World Under Blood supersedes both of those acts for technicality. If the unyielding pummeling of the drums was to be peeled away, one would find a lot of remarkably distinct elements, ranging from discordant time signatures to familiar but refreshing chord progressions.

However, all those elements are buried fairly deeply on “Tactical,” crushed beneath the hundred-ton weight of sonic destruction represented by Yeung. While his playing is talented and consistent, it is hardly “in the pocket” with the rest of the album, and becomes overbearing by the time the album spins to the third cut, “Pryo-Compulsive.” Much like every baked potato ever made, the dominant flavor on “Tactical” is not the most interesting one.

Slicing through the morass, the guitar work of Luke Jaeger is noteworthy and ripe for dissection. He has a flair for finding a comfortable hook to lay into (“Purgatory Dormitory,”) and putting down a gigantic groove-laced riff, backed up by either a placid juxtaposition or a high-speed solo (“I Can’t Stand His Name.”)

One of the band’s original cuts from 2006, “Dead and Still in Pain” combines the band’s penchant for late 90’s melodic choruses and technical expertise with Yeung’s annoyingly insistent drums. Clashes of time signature and bouts of roughshod boot-stomping make it the album’s most intriguing cut, as well as a rough synopsis of everything else on the album.

“Revere’s Tears” is an excellent ride, beginning with an imaginative, winding acoustic guitar piece that gets absolutely strafed and bombed by a death metal crusher that dominates the rest of the way. The songs energized second half lies somewhere between a Cradle of Filth epic and an old fashioned Judas Priest guitar romp. It is these moments, when the fog of drums momentarily clears, that World Under Blood truly showcases their ability.

It’s a shame that so much of “Tactical” is underfoot of Yeung’s domineering kit, because there is a lot of interesting musical material there for discovery. Listeners with the ear and the proper patience will no doubt find reward on the album. Those looking for immediate gratification should head elsewhere.

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