With an album cover like that, you’d expect that North Carolina’s Undrask are going to be either ludicrously tech death or power metal. Well, ‘Battle Through Time’ follows on the heels of their critically acclaimed debut EP, so this full length has a lot of questions about it already. Thankfully, this is a band that can deliever when required.
Opener ‘No Graves for the Dead’ is an excellent slab of early 90s style melodic death metal that soars with killer melodies and an infectious gallop. If you wish that In Flames would go back to the days of ‘The Jester Race’ or ‘Whoracle’, then this record is for you. The likes of the stunning ‘Conscripted’ and the spiralling glory of ‘Black Ocean’ is magnificently old school Gothenburg worship. Remember about 10 years ago when everyone wanted to sound like this and it became stale and terrible? Well, this is the culmination of that wasted potential, for ‘Battle Through Time’ is glorious.
The likes of ‘Longhammer’ bring to mind the ramapaging, fists to the sky approach of Amon Amarth, and this blend of modern and classic melodeath keeps Undrask interesting. The bass forward rumble of ‘Final Right’ is great, and tour de force closer ‘Battle Through Time’ combines the kind of guitarwork and ferocity that we’ve been waiting for since ‘Clayman’. I keep being surprised by bands coming out with excellently formed, mature debut records, but Undrask’s could be a highlight for my 2017 already. Melodic death metal should always be in this rude health, and with Undrask and Necrocosm, it has found a new home in North Carolina.