United States, Unique Leader Records, “New Wave of Modern Brutal Death Metal”
I try to lead reviews with something sharply descriptive, or completely objective, or a comparison to other bands, but I have to speak bluntly about this one: The Kennedy Veil have released a phenomenal record with Trinity of Falsehood, and I simply cannot get enough of it. The Sacramento quartet ignored the concept of a weak sophomore album and instead fired off one of the best records of 2014 only three weeks into the year.
The band bludgeons through 11 tracks in 32:33, six of which clock in under three minutes. They trimmed off every ounce of fat, leaving songs lean and punchy. Trinity of Falsehood achieves the band’s motto in excelsis: “No throwbacks, no breakdowns, no wanking, no trends. Modern American Brutal Death Metal!”
Speaking of excelling, drummer Gabe Seeber eradicates the drum kit. His 10-armed onslaught includes an arsenal of fills, blasts, and more stops on dimes than you can count. He types out philosophy textbooks on that kit in an unrelenting manner similar to Sedition by Hour of Penance.
Early tracks on the album illustrate the band’s former affiliation with deathcore, especially in the vocals. Rather than paying homage to the subterranean growls typical to brutal death, mid-ranged shouts dominate the foreground. While this may alienate fans of bands like Defeated Sanity, it differentiates the band from the legions of clones.
However, later songs (i.e. the best ones) parallel more of Origin, during which the musicians seem more at home. For example, closer “Perfidia” pairs abrupt, high note slashes with bleakly rigid parts in a style similar to Antithesis. In addition, The Kennedy Veil fluidly changes pace in every song, expertly transitioning from Decrepit Birth’s warp speed to Suffocation’s chug.
Thankfully higher in the production, the bass guitar work hits listeners in the face and demands attention. In particular, check out “In the Ashes of Humanity” below, which calls to mind the bouncing bass of Obscura.
Rather refreshingly, The Kennedy Veil escapes the common pitfalls of bands that merely conglomerate elements of the greats. Instead, they play their take on death metal with originality and finesse. If only the rest of modern bands did the same, well, the world would deteriorate into a much better place for metal fans.
REVIEWER: Witness to the Void