Review 2144 : Dead Head – Shadow Soul – English

Dead Head are not about to retire!

The band has been active in Thrash/Death since 1989 in the Netherlands. In 2024, Robbie Woning (guitar, ex-Beyond Belief), Hans Spijker (drums, Jurassic Park), Ronnie Vanderwey (guitar, ex-Asphyx, ex-Beyond Belief) and Ralph de Boer (bass/vocals, Bodyfarm, Radiathor) unveil their new EP Shadow Soul, on Hammerheart Records.

The band kicks off with Litany of the Weak, an aggressive first composition where screaming harmonics and raw energy take constant turns under vindictive vocal parts, then it’s after a catchy moshpart that Serpents of Fame offers us its ominous melodies. The following rhythm is slightly slower than the previous one, but it also follows motivating jerky patterns while including its sharp leads before giving way to Caverns of Fate and its massive groove that will undoubtedly strike a chord with an audience of connoisseurs. The crushing sound at times makes for an eerie ambience, unlike Defiance, which exists solely to be played on stage and launch all kinds of crowd movements while the background vocals call for revolt. The Age of Hype follows with the same objective, drawing on its fiercest hatred to unleash fast-paced, frenzied riffs, then The Run begins with a more moderate approach, accelerating at times before reaching cruising speed after the halfway point to finish at full speed in the blast. Opulent Disruption continues with the same blast, complemented by sharp leads and a breathless rhythm, before Dark Emptiness is unveiled with a touch of melancholy, a slightly shorter but just as well-crafted outro that plays on a completely different aspect of the band’s universe.

Thrash and Death are a true love story for Dead Head. They’ve been doing it for 35 years, and although it’s a little short, Shadow Soul shows that the band’s still got it!


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