Dead Soul Alliance – Spiraling to Lunacy Review

The gruesome twosome behind Dead Soul Alliance first crossed my path back in 2021 with their Behind the Scenes debut. I found it a competent if somewhat generic dose of lo-fi, old school death, entertaining but ultimately non-essential. 2023 sees the Canadian duo return with Spiraling to Lunacy, which finds them upping the aggression factor while managing to refine and focus some of their caveman cesspool scrapings. Their sound still splits the difference between American and European schools of death, which is a net positive, allowing for a touch of diversity between blast sites and trainwrecks. So has all this tinkering elevated their end product to that next level of the death metal food chain? Let’s look at who is eating whom.

Speaking of blasting, Dead Soul Alliance nukes your home base into ass dust from space with first proper track, “The Demons That Be.” This is the kind of rampaging beast that gets my attention and I heartily enjoy its hyperactive, foaming-at-the-mouth fervor. The riffs scorch and sizzle, the drums pulverize kidney stones, and the old timey death croaks blather on beautifully for a pornucopia of bloody insanity. The title track takes more cues from the Swedeath scene, with very Dismember-esque riffs hurting me and you with HM-2. Said riffs are effective and sharp enough to leave scars as mementos and the good times continue, though there are a few awkward/rough transitions along the way. Both “Condemnation Through Fear” and “New Normal Nihilist” are highly enjoyable cudgels perfect for bashing your brains all over your favorite couch and/or futon. The riffage is abrasive and focused, and the duo introduces brief melodic interludes to provide a welcome respite from the hyper-violent throttling.

There’s a bit more range and nuance on display at times, as with the moody instrumental opener and the restrained, eerie “Silencing the Masses,” and this extra dimension definitely makes for a more engaging listen. The melodic leads on “Silencing” are quite striking and far mellower than anything on the last splatter platter. The fact these gents can paint with more colors works in their favor and makes the heavy stuff feel way heavier. Quality-wise, a lot of the best moments come early, and the last few cuts are a bit rote, but at only 31 minutes, things never feel tedious and the aggression factor keeps you alert and twitchy. As far as the production goes, there’s a bit too much reverb, which is common for this kind of death metal, but here it creates a certain booming hollowness in the mix that I don’t love. The guitar tone is massive though, and the drums beat you into a ghastly pulp with super bad intentions.

Once again, Wolven Deadsoul provides loveably atrocious vocals that sound brutish and maniacal. He’s my kind of vocalist and though he operates within a fairly limited range, his delivery is effective. His guitar work has grown considerably from last time, with riffs hitting harder and the slick melodies snagging your flesh deeper. The increased emphasis on melody is a boon without reducing the overall brutality, which is a good balancing act. E.H. returns to man the kit and again becomes a living battering ram, doing his best to beat you into the Earth’s core. It’s not a technical display by any means, but it is an oppressive one.

Spiraling to Lunacy is a step up from last time in both the writing and performing departments. I still hesitate to call Dead Soul Alliance a “must-hear” project, but they’re definitely improving and heading in the right direction down the left hand path. This won’t be a death release people talk about at year’s end, but it is a pleasing dose of old school ear abuse. If you feel the need to be hammered by speedy, ugly tunes, these will get the job done and then some. And look at the lovely cover art! Purple is the new blood red.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Cryptorium9 
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: February 17th, 2023

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