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Dead Register - Captive [EP] (2018) - Review

Band: Dead Register
Title: Captive [EP]
Release date: 2 November 2018
Label: AVR Records

01. Captive
02. Ender
03. Heresy
04. Blood From A Ghost (Dead And Gone cover)
05. Monochrome

These days many bands try to combine in this or that form many different musical styles to achive some kind of originality, some of them are more successful than others and Atlanta (USA) based trio Dead Register can be counted as one of them. The band which released their debut album Fiber two years ago are now offering an eclectic new EP named Captive. The EP which consists of five tracks shows the band which wants to explore in the waters between goth, post-rock, post-punk, doom metal and shoegaze as well, going sometimes that far to reach the borders of avant-garde and blackened metal. There are many fragments hidden in their rather melancholic music, but one thing is sure, Dead Register are a name that should be marked on your radar if you are a fan of dark rock/metal.

Dead Register on this new EP have some ups and downs, luckily enough the final impression is a positive one, but it takes a lot of listens to discover everything this band has to offer, especially because their poignant style of playing is many times covered in a veil of psychedelia, like for example in the tracks like "Ender" or especially "Monochrome". The melodic lines are often intertwined by some disharmonic segments, but thankfully it works out quite well and pretty captivating and if the production wouldn't be so flat I believe that this would be a minor problem. The thing that stands out are M. Chvasta's deep, timbre, powerful but as well emotional and melancholic vocals that with sorrowful thoughtful lyrics about love and loss, about sadness and similar things, can provoke special feelings. While listening to his vocals it feels just like if we have in one person Bono Vox, Peter Murphy, Brendan Perry, Ian Curtis and Peter Steele. As well guitar riffs and occasional guitar leads are very well performed, not to mention strong dual throbing bass lines that are certainly a stand out thing that gives additional energy and depth, yet Dead Register nicely fulfill their sonic output with distorted or gloomy synthetic keys, and often crushing but technically well performed drum patterns.

The stand out tracks are the fantastic title track which in many ways reminds me to mid era Katatonia, especially the guitar lines, but yet Dead Register add kind of a haunting touch that has something to do with the likes such as Bauhaus or even Swans, and well done cover of American hardcore/punk band Dead And Gone "Blood From A Ghost" really gives goosebumps in this rather gothy version. Well, it's not that other tracks are bad, "Heresy" for example with its playful rhythmic line and melancholic 80s new wave smell that goes straight into goth/doom vibe certainly gives some shivers down the spine but unfortunately it doesn't sound so smooth, complete and refined as it should. Maybe they wanted to make it sound a bit avantgardish, who knows? Certainly the tracks are not predictable, but yet Dead Register should work a bit more on making the tracks just a bit more flowing, at least for the musical style they've choosen it's necessary, but nevertheless there are many qualities that somehow fog up minor flaws.

Dead Register are one of rare bands who try with a rather different approach to make the dark or let's say goth music of today modern, while still keeping the old school roots intact, and that's something really welcoming. This is heavier side of post-goth-rock, or maybe gothier side of post-rock/metal, some said that this is gloomy blackened cvlt gaze, or you name it, in the end it doesn't really matter, because we have one new band on the list that is able to make great tunes and I hope that on future releases they will develop their compositional style that much to make some real masterpieces, the necessary talent and resources are already here, it's a better production, some more passion here and there and well done compositions that will hook listeners souls a bit more that are somehow missing here. All in all, Dead Register is a band worth to check out.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10