While one listener’s ceiling is another listener’s floor, common ground can often be found in music. Some of that shared territory includes Through The Earth. With laser-like musicianship, the Phoenix, Arizona-based metal band towers over mere mortals focused on rock’s I-IV-V chord progressions. As far as Through The Earth is concerned, excitement, aggression and energy rule the entirety of the band, creatively expressed in I Am Become Death.
Performing death metal requires precision and mastery, which is part of the draw to I Am Become Death. Perhaps it is the automatic nature of the rapid fire skins and cymbals which are truly striking. Maybe it is the grueling guitar attack, fiery bass or sinister vocal growls. Put everything together and the result is I Am Become Death. Released Jan. 9, 2020, the arrangements are nuclear, so try not to get too hung up on category exactness. If pressed, the music generally moves between technical and melodic metal with excellent production.
The album opener, “Holy Servitude,” features fast riffing and a lightning rhythm battery. The band’s command over musical instruments is striking and part of the overall fascination. The growling is harsh, at times ugly and just what serious metalists enjoy. For a dose of technical satisfaction, try the 3:43 “Human Leeches.” The track slows at 2:06 only to pick right back up again. The metalized vocal versatility conveys several types of screams. “Leeches” ups the ante with explosive playing and vocals. Also make sure to check out the title cut, featuring Nathan Gearhart, from Vehemence and He Who Binds Himself. Gearhart’s brutality is unnerving and hard to come by.
Metal is a category which constantly says screw off to the music industry mainstream, with a clear conscience. I Am Become Death exudes a similar middle-of-the-road tunes suck air throughout the nine-song collection. Of course, the album’s theme also is conveyed in titles like “Among Headstones” and “Almost Haunted,” at 5:20, the longest song on the album. Meanwhile, “Sleepstalker,” with thicker guitar tones and “In Need Of Redemption” move closer to a melodic description. But no matter the narrative, all songs from I Am Become Death shred. Additionally, visually expressive album covers are often synonymous with metal bands and Through the Earth has things covered with artwork by Jason Grevas.
After digesting the complete album, performance stands out as the dominant highlight of I Am Become Death. The band lineup is Kiley Dearman – vocals; Michael Ohlson – drums; Joe Saari – bass; Matt Johnson – guitars; and Michael Malchow – guitars. Nathan Gearhart is featured on “I Am Become Death.”
I Am Become Death
All songs written by Through The Earth; Recorded at Spoke Audio – Kyle Moeller.
For more about Through The Earth and to support the band, please visit:
Paul Wolfle, the publisher of musicinterviewmagazine.com, is a web-based journalist who has written for several popular sites. Paul has a passion for connecting with a diversity of musicians who are looking to grow a positive presence on the World Wide Web.