(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
When a project or band is born out of the ashes of other bands, one never really quite knows what to expect. Meaning, will this new band be like X, Y or Z was or it will be better, worse or what have you. Vancouver, B.C.’s Dead Quiet is one of these type of bands as it was formed by ex-Barn Burner front-man Kevin Keegan and now features Justin Hagberg (ex-3 Inches Of Blood) on keyboards full-time. It does not end there though for also present are the returning Jason Dana (Bend Sinister, Karen Foster), Brock Macinnis (Anciients, Tobeatic) and Mike Grossnickle (Hashteroid).
All together, Dead Quiet caused some excitement back in 2015 with their self-titled debut full-length and now they’re back with its follow-up. The 9-song “Grand Rites” was dropped through Artoffact Records on November 3rd.
What we receive with “Grand Rites” is much of the same type of heavy stoner rock and retro doom as the debut. But now, with the addition of Hagberg’s keys, organs, etc., the music takes on much clearer, defined depth. There is an underlying presence of progressive elements as well, ones that bring to mind the early proto-metal of the mid to late Seventies.
The chunky, chugging dynamics of numbers like “Corpse Revival“, “Fucking Oath” or the blues-infused album closing title track, “Grand Rites“, provide massive aural appeal. Monstrous movements with moments of metallic manifestations, these songs ripple with their gargantuan, sweat-breaking heft.
Those all happen to follow the one-two pummeling of the pair of opening tracks here, “Moon Curser” and “Blood Lovers“. These are selections living so large within brash dynamics and scope that they set the bar extremely high for the remaining content to match…but match it does.
Not to walk solely on the heavy side of the fence, Dead Quiet also ably traverse into the psychedelic terra periodically as well. “Disgraced” and “Dear Demon” are stitched with intertwined nuances of melody and groove as well. They, along with everything else really, are all enhanced with richly angst-y, matter-of-fact vocals.
My favorite song has to be “Spiritual Abuse” and it is so for a plethora of reasons ala powerful heaviness, crushing doom content and what I think is some banjo. Just go listen to it, it’s an astounding stand-out on an already enthralling record.
Everything about Dead Quiet‘s “Grand Rites” is impressive while verifying a deep-rooted evolution in the band since the debut of ’15. It is evident the band has gelled and fermented to a state able to intoxicate fans of stoner rock, classic and and contemporary rock too. Take this fantastic offering for a spin via the Soundcloud player here and I believe you too will share in my enthusiasm for this sophomore album from this subtle “supergroup”.
Purchase “Grand Rites” at this location.