Review 1989 : Deathcode Society – Unlightenment – Engmish

Deathcode Society once again rises from the depths.

On the strength of their debut album, released in 2015 by Osmose Productions, the band made up of Arnhwald R. (vocals/guitar, Glaciation), David C. (guitar), Grégoire G. (drums, Dead Season, Glaciation), Nicolas S. (bass, Malcuidant) and Mike Barber (guitar, Wizardthrone, ex-Prostitute Disfigurement) offer in 2023 Unlightenment, their second opus.

Without warning, Scolopendra immediately draws us into their spiral of darkness, with its frantic riffs and terrifying screams. The orchestrations support the composition’s grandiose side while strengthening the most virulent passages, sometimes followed by intense backing vocals and Swedish-influenced heart-rending melodies. Then the sound gradually dies down, only to ignite again on Shards, the next composition, whose ferocious Old School roots soon naturally resurface. The combination of the two facets is perfectly managed, giving at times the feeling of attending an occult opera, which leads us up to La Nuée before considerably darkening, letting the dissonant harmonics bewitch us while the lively rhythmics do their work. The track passes in a flash, finally giving way to Scales and its ominous vocals, followed as you’d expect by the gradual return of the hurricane and its dark yet fascinating sounds, complemented by the massive vocal parts. Leads’ complex approach lends this track an oppressive atmosphere, which is confirmed by the mystical choirs, before the rhythmics pick up again until the final explosion, tempered by Mazed Interior and its few modern sounds. The highly crafted riffs and grandiose orchestrations skilfully punctuate the composition, which moves from frantic moments to almost haunting or imposing lulls before letting A La Néante, the album’s longest track, weave its first dissonant lines. The band doesn’t waste a single opportunity to fill us with wonder with soaring tones, while French howls haunt the rhythm, suddenly broken by a strange haze before returning while keeping this rhythmic approach that the musicians guide like a true saga. They even allow us a moment’s respite with the final, before Narcosis descends upon us like a flood of sharp blades whose sole purpose is to bury us under its incessant double kick and cutting riffs while confronting us with the most visceral and intense vocal parts possible, barely lifting our heads out of the water thanks to enigmatic sounds on the end.

Deathcode Society is a relatively discrete band, but one with unimaginable strength. Their first album was already a success, and Unlightenment naturally follows this path paved with complex but fascinating nordic influences.


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