Well over a decade ago I’d discovered Czech and Slovakian death metal while digging through tape/LP rips and reissues online. Bands like Depresy, Typhoid and Krabathor had impressed me enough to dig deeper and two of my personal favorites were actually Slovakian: Apoplexy and Dehydrated. Of the two I think Dehydrated were initially a more interesting story to follow as they’d gone from primal, gory brutal death/grindcore on their demos to a sort of Pestilence inspired brutality on their sole full-length in 1997. ‘Ideas‘ was an incredible record to discover out of the blue, it captured the spirit of old school death metal but the drumming wasn’t afraid to speed up and hit hard. The core style of the band had transitioned into something closer to Mercyless or Death‘s ‘Human’ with loud and clear production fit for 1997.
Twenty full years later the band has been reformed with a few new faces and ‘Resurrection’ is a nice, if not brief, statement that the band is back in good form. What most fans might wonder is how does this new material stand up to the old? Well, I think the core sound of the band has changed drastically. This style of death metal has less of a focus on death/thrash and melodic inspiration of the early 90’s that defined Dehydrated for me. The core feeling of Dehydrated is not lost, though, as the dramatic style of drumming shows some old school DNA. Songs like “Dying and Asking” resemble Carcass a bit; most of the songs lean toward a mid-paced brutality the band was known for but the memorability factor isn’t quite there yet. The cover of Massacre‘s “Dawn of Eternity” is very cool, but this version doesn’t stand up to what Thanatos or Naglfar already did with this song in the past.
Much like the return of Canker, who also more or less dissolved twenty years ago, it seems the revival of the ‘long dead project’ is too much of an appeal to fans of the past rather than a musical statement for the future. What ends up devaluing these types of releases is that they’re so out of touch that the music feels like feigned simplicity that can’t appeal to fans who have kept up with retro death metal since. If an amazing band like Mercyless can come back and still return to their sound while updating its compositional complexity and find new purpose then there is hope that Dehydrated finds new value in refinement and exploration along the way. I would recommend ‘Resurrection’ to the curious fans of ‘Ideas’ with the caveat that it likely won’t fulfill any nostalgic expectations.
|Released||October 1, 2017|
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