Doldrey – Celestial Deconstruction Review

Having just covered the latest iteration of classic Gothenburg melodeath with The Halo Effect, it only made sense to tackle the one millionth take on buzzy, fuzzy Entombedcore, this time by way of Singapore’s Doldrey. This unsung act dropped an EP in 2019 and 2022 sees the full-length debut hit the mean streets. Billing themselves as “Deathpunk,” their style is not far removed from crusty acts like Mammoth Grinder, but more firmly tethered to the early days of the Stockholm sound. This means the HM-2s are set to ‘Brutal Stun’ and the d-beats are available for bulk purchase. Riffs will buzzsaw and pacing will be energetic. Thanks to the healthy punk influence, things will be kept short and savage, with only one track cracking the 4-minute Rubicon. In short, Celestial Deconstruction is mindless, piledriving fun for mindless piledriving folk.

In industry terms, what Doldrey deliver here is “insertive metal.” It inserts a fist in your ass and keeps it there for much of its thankfully brief 31-minutes of brain blastery, turning you into a kind of warped sock puppet. Opener “Blood of the Serpent” gets the balls rolling with a raw, ugly d-beat fest that sounds like a young Entombed drunk on vodka and power. You’ve heard this very thing many times before, but Doldrey imbues it with so much youthful exuberance while delivering such defoliating riffs that it gets past the staleness filter and smacks you in your stupid, smug gob. This is the recipe the band sticks with for the rest of Celestial Deconstruction – leveraging Big Riff Energy to batter your jaded mind into accepting more of the same shit and liking it. Cuts like the title track are brainless beef and brawn, using monster riffs as an aural baseball bat to hammer you into an agreeable mindset. The mid-tempo grinding sections are even more satisfying than the thrashy ones, and boots are kept on throats the entire time. “Age of Extinction” and “Harmonic Divergence” go heavy on the heavy, bringing the deathhammer to the wine and cheese party. The latter is a bit more punky in nature, giving the remorseless bludgeoning an amusingly upbeat vibe.

Though there isn’t much in the way of diversity between tracks, the hyperactive energy levels and above-average riff acumen keep things from getting boring. The only song that feels like filler is “Marked for Death” due to its pedestrian riffs and overly simplified structure. That said, the front of the album is definitely superior to the back half, and all the biggest ragers come early. Doldrey’s all attack, all the time style does cause the songs to bleed into one another after a certain point, with individual tracks becoming a challenge to pick out from the overall onslaught. Too much of a big, ugly thing? Maybe, but it’s fairly fun nonetheless.

The band members are not credited in the promo, nor elsewhere, so who does what here is beyond reckoning. Whoever is responsible for the riffcraft deserves the bulk of the accolades, as this thing is entirely kept afloat by the bone-sawing, brain-scouring leads. They hit like jackhammers and keep you on task for much of the album’s runtime. The vocals are standard issue L.G. Petrov imitations, but they get the job done and the inclusion of some gruesome wretching sounds warms the heart sockets. The band has some ability and a good ear for this kind of deathpunk, and as debuts go, there’s a lot done right.

Celestial Deconstruction is a respectably savage debut in a crowded field rife with Mr. Same Y. Ness and generalized stagnation. I waggled back and forth on the score as I enjoyed much of what Doldrey delivered here, but it’s got enough flaws to limit its appeal. Fans of the style will likely appreciate what the band is doing, but there isn’t much to make the album stand out and it isn’t quite essential listening. I suspect with some seasoning Doldrey could reach that level in the future, however. Ugly is a viable option in my book.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Pulverised
Website: Too raw for the webz
Releases Worldwide: August 19th, 2022

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