The band’s name is literal – not only does it draw heavily from later Death, it’s also recorded four Death covers in its career. Like other Death-obsessed groups, this one walks the line between theft and homage. Ultimately, though, this Belarusian band shows enough creativity to avoid clone status. This is especially true on the almost 14 minute-long “Black Pilgrim,” which adds contemporary rhythms and dissonance a la Meshuggah. Death never stretched out on epics this long, but this tune hints at the possibilities.
Little touches add interest throughout, like the reversed guitars in “I Am What I Am” and the jazzy, rimshot-driven break in “Black Pilgrim.” Cool bass runs abound, and they sound like fretless bass – but the pictures say fretted? The recording is dry and crisp, with clean tones glistening as needed. Evidently, these three tracks offer a taste of a full-length album awaiting label release. It’s a shame what gets signed these days, and what doesn’t. Deathbringer has the chops and vision; I just hope it has the sound of perseverance.