Lifeless - _Beyond the Threshold of Death_
(Ibex Moon Records, 2010)
by: Aaron McKay (7 out of 10)
One of the more difficult aspects for traditional death metal outfits is an adherence to one's deeply felt influential roots, yet separating your signature sound from the immeasurable crowd. Germany's stalwarts Lifeless walk this very complex and unforgiving line.

_Beyond the Threshold of Death_ is a re-issue of the band's 2008 pressing, but now added to Ibex Moon's most notable roster. Since 2004, Lifeless has taken up the tried and true, in-your-face, no holds barred death metal approach. This solid four-piece group hold the line on some of the more punishing beats of unyielding power, as any fan of the scene might expect.

This album re-pressing offers seven cuts, as well as a bonus track, of fundamental choppy guitar riffs, heavy beats and gruff vocals, yet understandable and clear in their delivery. Starting off strong with "Entombed in Unknown Graves", _BtToD_ again resurges around track four, "The Final Sacrifice" and the subsequent pummeling title track, "_Beyond the Threshold of Death_".

The true power of this release can be found in its very apex finishing _BtToD_ off like ol' Dismember / Grave-esque crusaders. On "Under the Sign of the Iron Cross", Lifeless unleashes a wonderfully constructed metal onslaught ostensibly absent on most of the effort as a whole. This track, and the one that follows, "In the End... (Of Life)", Lifeless showcase their combine ability with catchy, infectious chops peppered with tangibly palpable tempo-shifts, well-timed solos and general raw infectiousness.

Tie the whole _BtToD_ effort off with the absolutely stellar cover of Dismember's "Casket Garden" and you have a record finishing stronger than the sum of its initial parts. Other than covering Sodom's "Remember the Fallen" from _Agent Orange_, Lifeless selected the strongest finale "cover" imaginable for this re-issue.

While not groundbreaking or about to change the course of traditional death metal forever, Lifeless is anything -but- comatose; their particular kind of rhythmic pulse can even be felt well _Beyond the Threshold of Death_.


(article published 31/10/2010)

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