Manchester horror metallers The Dead XIII are back with their second album Dark Days, the anticipated follow-up to 2015’s Catacombs.
An atmospheric start to the record with the synth-laden intro to Bloodlines, before an onslaught of metal riffage accompanied by Kurt Blackshard’s horse vocal delivery. Title track Dark Days has a hint of Creatures-era Motionless In White. Last Stand begins with a brutal scream before mellowing out into a brief period of calm instrumentation, leaving the focus solely on the powerful vocal delivery. A 1 minute 20 second piano led instrumental in Vigil at the halfway point of the album is something that is not expected and is quite a haunting melody. Angels bears a striking similarity to another of the band’s previous singles Daemons. From Beyond is a strong closer to the record.
The guitar work throughout the record, and very notably on Killers is brilliant. The overall album has the trademark TDXIII sound, however The Dead XIII have found a system that works for them so it is by no means a bad thing and if there was a lot of variety, it wouldn’t be TDXIII as Dark Days and previous release Catacombs have cemented the band’s unique sound, adding their own twist onto the metal genre.