Released: 2015, PRC Music Group
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Everybody loves an underground underdog, right? Following the release of their REIGN OF LUNACY debut in 1995, Quebec’s Gorelust chose to disband and pursue the trappings of adulthood. Fast forward 20 years to PRC Music’s re-release of said album, and low and behold there’s still a loyal fan base, stirring renewed interest within the band about what a proper follow up would sound like. Which brings us to WE ARE THE UNDEAD, a sophomore album 20 years in the making, and one that reminds us that sometimes the dead should remain dead.
Having never heard of Gorelust or REIGN OF LUNACY back in the day, I did some homework and spent some time with the debut. It’s a pretty standard, yet respectable, example of what death metal was evolving into during the mid-90s and holds its own against the likes of Brutality, Sinister, and Resurrection. WE ARE THE UNDEAD sounds like it was written in 2014 with the intention of channeling where the band would’ve been in 1996. It’s definitely got that old school charm going for it, but it also definitely sounds a bit dated. The album’s nine tracks wax poetic to the death metal of yesteryear, ripping familiar tomes with chugging riffs both fast and furious. Tracks like “Entering the Kill Fest”, “City of the Cannibals” and the title track recall the finer moments of their ’95 debut, but much of the balance of WE ARE THE UNDEAD is pretty by the numbers.
With as much as Gorelust attempts to put into the album, the production job on WE ARE THE DEAD works against them equally as much. The sound is flat out dull, quashing any of the band’s musical dexterity, and Jean Beaulieu sounds like he’s barking through the speaker box of a drive through window. There’s a sad irony that an indie record released 20 years ago has a better mix than one released in 2014.
WE ARE THE UNDEAD gets an “E” for effort, but it doesn’t do much to further the Gorelust legacy. If you’re at all familiar with REIGN OF LUNACY, you may want to check this out for the nostalgia factor, otherwise there’s not much for WE ARE THE UNDEAD to offer.