There was a period not so long back when things didn’t look so great for Deathrite. After a series of furious records that walked the line between grind, D-beat, and death metal, their last record – 2018’s Nightmares Reign – was a major disappointment. The overt aggression and energy was toned down, in favour of a more mid-tempo stomp that didn’t really do much of anything except leave a vague “is that it?” impression. It’s important to get this out the way because new EP Delirium is a vast improvement, capturing a healthy chunk of that old savagery while still feeling like a growth in sound.
That’s evident right from the first moments of the opening title track, featuring as it does a riff that isn’t far removed from crusty Entombed worship, moving with real weight. It makes good use of varied tempos, switching between speed and the mid-tempo heft that Deathrite were trying for on Nightmares Reign but never quite achieved. Even though it doesn’t sound like one of their older records, which went heavy on the speed – such as 2013’s Into Extinction – the seeds of Deathrite’s beginnings are still there. As such, it makes Delirium feel more like a progression for the group than Nightmares Reign did – and crucially, the band sound like they’re enjoying playing this music far more than they did there.
It’s that which really makes Delirium such a success. Sure, other elements help a lot too – such as the noise-drenched interludes, which provide a nice change in focus and sound, giving the record extra textures both musically and emotionally which can be lacking in this style of music. But it’s the sheer bloody conviction that Deathrite put across that keeps Delirium engaging. There’s a few rough edges – ‘Someone to Bleed With’ in particular would be much improved were it trimmed down by a minute or so – but these are relatively minor complaints in the face of such musical aggression and force. Delirium sounds like a band who are re-energized and in love with making music once again, having learnt the lessons from a mis-step and coming back stronger for it.
Delirium is out on 9th April via Into Endless Chaos Records and can be ordered here.
Words: Stuart Wain