Deserted Fear may be young, but they eschew the kind of über technical, 1000-riffs-a-minute style favoured by many new death metal outfits and instead take their cues from classic Dutch and Swedish DM. Indeed, Dead Shores Rising boasts strong hints of Asphyx, God Dethroned, Dismember and in the album’s more melodic moments, At The Gates (indeed, ATG screamer Tomas Lindberg even guests on The Path of Sorrow).
And like their illustrious forebears, this trio keep their songwriting taught and focused, giving their searing axework the space it needs to do some serious damage: The Carnage, for instance, kicks off with a venomous melodeath riff and evolves into a monstrous battle march of a tune, while The Fall Of Leaden Skies is pure exhilaration, a perfectly executed piece of blistering DM.
So on first impressions, you’d certainly expect the Germans’ third album to push them into the big league, such is the initial impact of songs like Towards Humanity. Yet there’s a nagging feeling that Deserted Fear are almost too slick for their own good… and that Dead Shores Rising lacks the soul of their heroes’ early work.
This isn’t a case of ‘back to the drawing board’ for the band, but perhaps in worshipping their ancestors so wholeheartedly, they’ve let their own personality become diluted along the way.