Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: Death SS – X

Label: Lucifer Rising Records

Date: October 29th, 2021

Boy, do thoughts come into my mind while I’m spinning this record! All sorts of them. Like, will Facebook consider just the mere mention of this band’s name a violation of rules and regulations? Do I put a disclaimer on this review, like they do on History channel? “Warning, this album might contain sensitive acronyms which some readers might find offensive”. Then again, there’s much more “parental advisory” content within the record itself than it could ever be construed by this SS mark.

Also, even if the cover art of this record clearly says “X”, online sources insist on calling the album “Ten”. Eddie Vedder might just have a field day with this, though the “X” here marks the spot of the tenth full album by these Italian masters of horror. By the way, since I’m mentioning the cover, does anybody else think about a horror take on early Manowar covers?

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the release date! Two days before Halloween? Did I mention Death SS are the horror masters? How come guys? Two days later is too much of a cliché? Well, if anybody is entitled to the date, it’s you!

Another funny thing that came to my mind is the possible (and quite plausible) reaction of the younger audience. Are the new kids going to claim the Italians simply ripped off the theatrical approach to horror of Ghost or Lordi? A word of advice, if you’re in a conversation with a metal cub and they bring out something like that, please explain that Death SS started their journey in 1977. At the time when even the members of Ghost and Lordi were just toddlers.

Okay, I’m stopping here, as I need to describe the music on “X”. Those of you my age or older will be glad to learn that Death SS is at their best once again. Most of their industrial attempts have been expelled, leaving just a few that leave their mark in the atmospheric aspects of the record. Well, apart from the industrial / gothic piece called “Heretics” which brings Marilyn Manson to mind. Perhaps “Temple of the Rain” is another example, as not only the title brings connotations to Sisters Of Mercy. But even those two fit nicely to the remainder of the record.

Death SS brings forth most of what made them a landmark name back in the 1980’s. Doomy heavy metal, inspired by the dark side of human nature. Horror, gloom, Satanism, blasphemy and all the other treats for a heavy metal mind. Naturally, this band is and ever was influenced by the golden years of Alice Cooper, Merciful Fate, Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, Candlemass… But then you get to hear “Ride the Dragon” and what do you know! It’s like Helloween took the stage all of a sudden.

Of course, the Italians do not dwell in a grave they’ve dug up back in the day. The vampires as they are still roam the Earth in search for fresh meat. So, in that regard, this is likely Death SS 2.0, updated and upgraded for the new century, but still creepy, crawly and deadly as ever. And with a killer of a new record. I’m not joking now. Not even slightly! “X” marks the spot, takes a shot and hits the target! Bull’s-eye!

A collection of ten (again with the number) extremely catchy tracks that might serve your gothic themed party as well as your heavy metal bonanza. A definitive proof that form is temporary but class is permanent! Death SS is a heavy metal classic, end of discussion! Get to the “X” in your favorite metal store and you will be on spot. Stop there, grab it and just push play!