God Send Death
Till Your Death Records
My first encounter with GxSxD was at a local show last year, when they were in Singapore performing with fellow Japanese death metal band Defiled. The intense music and the fusion of death and thrash metal elements reminded audiences of famed Polish band Vader, with many proclaiming them to be Asia’s answer to the Polish behemoth (pun unintended). God Send Death is GxSxD‘s debut full length album, and released back in 2006, the material that is present on this album would be different from what their newer stuff sound like, and marks the early beginnings of the band’s journey.
The first thing that is noticed is the difference in production quality of the album, compared to later works such as those on the split album with Sec Dimension, which has a heavier and an overall fuller tone. The sound on God Send Death is markedly rawer, which could either be a shame because of the excellent execution and the brilliant songwriting, or be a strength of the records because the raw energy of the band simply shines through and is clearly audible in the performance of the music. Opening track Die in Vein proves this point, as heavy riffs greet the listener and the band takes their time in building up the tension in the air, and a soft spoken vocal section by then-vocalist Kazuhiro greets the listener. Admittedly, spoken sections such as these sound slightly awkward, and at times even make the band sound slightly nu-metallish, but the music more than makes up for it. Kazuhiro also breaks into clean singing sections, such as on Way to the Truth, and while clean vocals are obviously not his strength, they do help to add some variety to the music.
The riffing on the album is brilliant as usual, with the axe-wielding twin brothers Yosuke and Yusuke in perfect cohesion, throwing out razor sharp riff after riff, never a single beat out of sync with each other. The brothers also take turns handling lead guitar duties, displaying the talent that each of them have on their instruments. The thrash metal influence that the band has included is also evident in the playing style of Yusuke and Yosuke, with the riffs at time leaning more towards thrash metal, reminding listeners of the chaotic style that Slayer‘s Kerry King would utilise. Furthermore, intro to tracks like Way to the Truth lets such influences shine, with an ominous lead guitar line, soon joined by the other guitar, harmonising the lead. The surprising thing here is that despite the raw production quality, the rumbling bass is clearly audible all the time. Ikunaga’s drumming is also ace, with a number of moments that are given to him to shine, such as on Good Blood Son where punishes the skins without mercy. The numerous shift in pace on the track also displays his versatility and ability behind the kit. The drum tone is another point that makes the album enjoyable with a slightly hollow and empty sound to it.
While the songs on God Send Death may not be familiar to fans who know GxSxD from their recent performances, they are definitely the framework that the band has started out from. The promise of new material that is soon to be released on Pulverised Records has certainly left me eagerly waiting, but meanwhile, if one wants to listen to their more Vader-esque stuff (which fortunately removes the weaker points of this album) can hunt down a copy of their split with Sec Dimension, Fighting on the Edge.
Album Review: Sec Dimension/GxSxD – Fighting on the Edge