Recent death metal releases from the likes of Horrendous, Tribulation and Morbus Chron (R.I.P) have done a solid ob of taking inspirations from the old school while adding their own unique and often progressive touches. Another band that follows a similar approach to their music is the UK based De Profundis. Starting out as a doom metal band, De Profundis have been shedding their doom influences over the course of their releases and on their latest release ‘Kingdom of the Blind’ the band comes off as a pure progressive death metal band that has influences stemming from the early days of the style.
De Profundis seem to have a fascination with later Death albums where death metal slowly crossed over into more progressive and somewhat jazzier territories. The album has a solid start with the punchy riffs of ‘Kult of the Orthodox’ where the band does a good job of maintaining a balance of solid riff work and progressive song flows. The band does not shy away from incorporating melody into the mix and many of the tracks on the record have a strong melodic undercurrent.
The tracks also seem to have jazz influences which is accentuated by the fantastic bass lines that have the smooth flow quality that only a fretless bass can produce. The cleaner, softer and jazzier side of the band is on exhibit on tracks like ‘All Consuming’, ‘The Antagonist’ and ‘Beyond the Threshold’. These moments are aided by fantastic solos that follow up and it’s clear that classic heavy metal melodies serve as inspirations to great degrees.
The song writing skills of De Profundis is top notch and this fact is reinforced by the band’s ability to craft a 51 minutes long album that has the listener paying rapt attention throughout the entirety of its length. Though the band is deeper on the progressive end compared to their peers mentioned at the start of the review, there is more than enough heaviness and brutality in the music to justify the death metal part of their genre tag.
The band have a winning combination of technicality, solid riff work, complex time signatures and a sense of melody that makes ‘Kingdom of the Blind’ an overlooked gem from 2015. De Profundis offer a fresh and masterful take on the progressive death metal style, which has become an excuse these days for bands to play breakdown laden djent. Fans of death metal, especially who like it the way Death and Edge of Sanity did it, are advised not to sit this one out.