Dusty skulls. White lichen eroding tomb walls. Water dripping through limestone. Much death metal evokes the bleeding immediacy of death, but the genre also has its purveyors of death’s long, dry, lonely after-ruin. Bands like Cemetery Urn and Dead Congregation, a lineage stretching back to aptly-named Entombed. The Glorious Dead, hailing from Traverse City, MI, have set their rattling bones in this particular sarcophagus, and it’s a good, snug fit.
Imperator of the Desiccated is a quick little EP, one studio and one live track, that’s not so much a work or even a statement as a calling card – Hi, we’re The Glorious Dead, and this is what we’re about. Come see us if you want to know more.
What they’re about: catacombs, sepulchers, undercrofts, crypts, mausolea… if it’s made of stone and somebody chucked a dead guy in there, this band is on it. Fuzzy evil tremolo guitars plugged into suffering amps. Gurgled throaty vocals. Battering drums that sound like the kit’s being held together by painter’s tape. Dull thudding bass like a body smacking its head into its coffin lid. None of this is new or distinctive, but it’s good at being what it is, and a calling card’s not for breaking ground anyway. It’s for reveling in the tomb dirt.
It will be interesting to see how a future LP might turn out. With that amount of space to work with, we’ll get a clearer idea of how they distinguish themselves. The Glorious Dead don’t do anything here that makes them sound innovative or very different from the aforementioned bands, but what they do sound like is a lot of fun.