Undead Prophecies – Sempiternal Void

I’m beginning to notice a bit of a trend amongst modern Death Metal bands, and by beginning to notice I mean this has probably been happening for a while now. Loads of newer acts like Horrendous and Gruesome are quite eager to strap on the Nike high tops, leather jackets and reminisce about the good old days when guys like Chuck Schuldiner and his outfit Death were blowing the Thrash dudes out of the water with albums like Scream Bloody Gore or Spiritual Healing. Undead PropheciesSempiternal Void (Listenable Records) sure as shit sounds like they’ve been inhaling the ash of whatever’s left of Morrisound Recordings.

Our younger readers may not remember this, but there was a time when Tampa, Florida, was known more for its Death Metal breeding ground than it was its copious amounts of strip clubs and Budweiser. For years in this unassuming facility in Temple Terrace producer and likely sorcerer, Scott Burns twisted knobs and recorded stone-cold classics ranging from Obituary’s Slowly We Rot, Cynic’s Focus and Sepultura’s Arise.

From 1988 through 1995 Tampa was the hotbed for extreme music and taking the throne above it all were local heroes Death. I challenge you to find a band with a better track record LP wise. I can wait.

All the preamble is to let you know that Undead Prophecies have caught the Death bug and they’ve got it bad. Slam ‘Suffocated/Vanity’ or ‘Insidious Manipulations’ and you’re taking a Delorean ride back to when denim and Combat Records were king. Even from a mixing/producing standpoint Sempiternal Void reps its love of the late eighties as it sounds like something recorded in the toolshed in Morrisound Recordings backyard.

But it’s not total Death worship as when Undead Prophecies isn’t pillaging through unused Leprosy riffs, they’re filling the tank with vintage Obituary on ‘Warhead’ and Morbid Angel’s vocal effects throughout ‘I Summon Demons.’ And you know what, I’m totally in the bag for it.

Time is a flat circle, or at least that’s what the TV man is telling me. Case in point, Schuldiner’s influence is going to be sticking around for a while.

7 / 10

HANS LOPEZ