Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, March 4, 2024

Shock Withdrawal - The Dismal Advance


I had the good fortune of seeing Shock Withdrawal a few months ago at Saint Vitus Bar. Right away I knew that they were onto something special. They're intense, unforgivingly heavy and above all loud. This is death metal done right, with unrepentant blast beats, cacophonous riffing and some of the most impressive vocal performances I have heard in a good long while. The end result is their debut album The Dismal Advance which is 13 ferocious blasting tracks of unrelenting death metal fury that you simply can't get away from. 

With the longest song at this record capping at 2:14, Shock Withdrawal are the epitome of concise. These songs get their ideas out there, beat you over the head with them and then get out. That all being said, I think there are some wonderfully impressive executions going on here, and they are able to make even the shorter songs feel surprisingly epic. The album isn't entirely short form blast fests. Tracks like "No Closure" (Great title for an album closer) use slower, sludgier riffs to communicate a different brand of heaviness. These moments of noisy sludge provide a welcome contrast to the chaotic spiraling riffs of tracks like "Constant Fear Of Annihilation". 

Dismal Advance is an impressive release if there ever was one. It's a record that distills so many core elements of the genre and grinds towards something ever greater. The band clearly understands what it takes to make compelling grinding death metal and their brutal assault is addictive. With short albums like this the relistenability is generally high, and this is definitely the case with Dismal Advance. I find myself on my third listen practically by accident, but with each spin I find new reasons to love what Shock Withdrawal have achieved here. It's brutal unrelenting deathgrind for the masses. 

Pre-order the album!

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