UNDERTOW - Milgram

Undertow - Milgram

11 songs
46:26 minutes
***** **


Three years ago, Undertow from Germany released their last CD 34ce. The reasons for the long waiting period were extensive touring and a line-up change on the drums. Undertow, who are still working as a three-piece, see this change as a blessing that has brought fresh air into a band that has been together for thirteen years now.

The new album starts will a terribly long and boring intro which only puts you into the mood to skip to the next song. The first real track Stomping Out Ignorance shows Undertow's original strength. They are playing dark metal with a certain pop appeal. What's new compared to their older albums is a tribute towards 80s thrash metal. The vocals remind me of Metallica's James Hetfield. A good song, but the HIM-like interlude really wasn't necessary. The same may be said about the female moaning vocals on Two Fingers. Undertow try to put new ideas into their music, but the innovations just don't fit the music we've known so far from Undertow who are best when they play their straight mid-tempo metal songs. My personal favourite on the CD is Homemade Funeral, a title that hasn't stolen its name. It's running for seven minutes and I've never before heard this band in such a doomish mood. I'd like to hear more songs like that from them. But immediately you get interrupted by the next song Crawler, the album's most brutal track and suitable for every mosher and thrasher. Buried In Snow is the rawest track and this slower number could have been featured on a recent Motörhead album.

My impression about Undertow is quite positive. The album contains more variation than what they have done so far, but somehow I have the impression that Undertow are still searching the right way for the future. And it's a sorry fact that the album only contains eight songs (which are all quite good) and six wasted minutes for an intro, an outro and an instrumental middle part. I'm sure an improvement will be possible for the next album.

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