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“Dear Demon,” Dead Quiet’s Love Letter to Classic Metal

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Heavy metal’s primordial period remains fertile for inspiration because no two bands draw from it for quite the same reasons. The sounds of the 1970s are the genre’s equivalent of stem cells: if used properly, they can provide the basis for any number of stylistic choices. Maybe you want to play slower and sing blues-inspired melodies, maybe a shuffling rhythm appeals to you more than the jackhammer of thrash, or maybe you just like the production style and are willing to skate by everything else in order to recapture the viiiiiibes maaaaan.

Vancouver’s Dead Quiet take a little from column A and a little from column B, but thankfully leave column C alone. Their self titled debut is as sonically meaty as any modern metal record, but singer Kevin Keegan’s fiery wail connects them explicitly with metal’s golden days. On their newest single “Dear Demon,” streaming exclusively below, Dead Quiet do more than just capture the sound of the 1970s, but also revive its free-wheeling creative spirit.

“Dear Demon” recalls an era before metal’s style was codified, and thus before hitting play on the turntable was burdened with expectations. Though it starts as a stripped down acoustic lament, the song veers into unexpected territory more than once across its eight-minute runtime. The first major change is a matter of the band catching up with their singer. Keegan comes in hot, singing verses with the intensity of a final chorus. The rest of Dead Quiet take their time before matching him, echoing his note selection in their own guitar leads. Soon they go out on their own, in the manner of a track like ‘Megalomania,” setting their aim on writing a saga.

This takes them through a rumbling shuffle, enhanced by the introduction of new keyboardist Justin Hagberg, to a tom heavy section that brings the song back to the 21st Century. It isn’t the style of these various sections that directly recalls a classic sound (although ending your song who two guitars trading pentatonic heavy solos will always get you close). The band’s willingness to wander is what sets them apart from their era, and they’re better for it.

Grand Rites is out on November 3rd via Artofact / Storming The Base. Follow Dead Quiet on Facebook.

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