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Forever Is Not Eternal
(Vic Records)

Sometimes bands come back that nearly no one really missed. The recently revived Dutch DEAD END is a perfect example for this. They released a 7” and three demos during their first time of existence, which was from 1990 to 1993. These recordings didn't raise too much attention, except for an exclusive participation on one of these D.S.F.A compilations, Vol. 5, subtitled "Resurrection Of Reality", from 1993 to be precise. Now nearly all of these recordings are available again on one disc, fittingly entitled “Forever Is Not Eternal”. So it's time to find out why DEAD END were forgotten by time. The first song 'Angelthing' from the aforementioned compilation might already give a hint, since songs like this quite melodic Doom / Death tune weren't the hottest shit anymore back in the days. Bands like ANATHEMA or MY DYING BRIDE already did this a lot better and more original. The songs from their “Wartime In Eden” 7” EP, that was released in 1993 as well, showed DEAD END in a better way. 'Forever' was spiced with some fine violins and the lengthy 'This Heresy' was a very nice, slightly Gothic / Doom inspired song that still knows to please. Only the final 'A Dreamer's Lament', some kind of outro, is a little superfluous. Besides the “official” releases, the last two demo tapes DEAD END put out are featured here as well. “Purity” from 1992 was still a little more rooted in doomy Death Metal, but songs like 'Shroud' or 'Revelations' already hinted on what was to come. Yet, the stuff here isn't exactly brilliant, even though I like the opening Doom / Death hybrid 'Purity' and the classic Death Metal opening of the final 'Bleeding'. The first real studio demo from DEAD END was “Tales” in 1991, after a live demo a year earlier that wasn't borne in mind for “Forever Is Not Eternal” - maybe for good reasons. The four songs on “Tales” were very raw Doom / Death Metal, maybe not that original, even for 1991. But on the other hand, the stuff here is pretty delicious for old school maniacs, due to the primordial feeling, not yet inspired by ANATHEMA or early PARADISE LOST. Especially the raw opener 'Marked' and the break-laden 'Journey To Midian' are really my cup of tea. As a bonus, we get three songs from the demos in extremely rough and rather unhearable live versions, recorded directly from the audience. You can hear people talking louder than the band playing, so let's see this stuff as an extra and neglect it. As a conclusion, it's not a big wonder that DEAD END didn't raise dust when they were around back then, but since this re-release is obviously intended to wet the appetite for some comeback material, let's give DEAD END a chance. In the meantime, check out, or the label:

Thomas Meyer

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