Review Summary: Forget any resemblance to anything in the tech-thrash and in the rock/metal domain in general. In their second album, Depressive Age prove to be the perfect match to John Lennon’s spoken words about what rock n’ roll should really be.
Depressive Age’s debut album, First Depression
, was like a thunder in a clear sky, although few fans took notice of it at the time of its release in 1992. Despite the high quality of their debut, the band remained in an underground status. Let’s not forget that grunge was reigning in the globe at the time, leaving practically no room for new and promising metal bands. Plus that metal fans in the mid 90’s were very reluctant in accepting musical diversity in metal whatsoever. However, the band was not underwhelmed by the difficulties and kept on working. In 1994, they released their second album, Lying In Wait
Lying In Wait
exploits in full the musical legacy of its predecessor and at the same time takes things a long way further. In First Depression
the songs were almost exclusively “Tora! Tora! Tora!” ultra speed tech-thrash and the progressive/innovative musical influences were somewhat “compressed” solely in the aforementioned songwriting structure. However, in Lying In Wait
, the band’s songwriting is much more diversified. The speed/tech-thrash elements are wisely mixed with eerie or melancholic semi-acoustic plus mid-paced melodies, providing a great variety of sounds and rhythms per song and multiple challenges for the rhythm section to work on.
The will to produce bizarre musical compositions is once again fully sustained by the top-notch musicianship of guitarists Jochen Klemp and Ingo Grigoleit plus the rhythm section of Norbert Drescher (drums) and Tim Schallenberg (bass). Riffs and solos appear in the proper place, every time with something new to give, while they avoid guitar wankery. The rhythm section closely follows and adapts appropriately to the needs of every song. The vocals of Jan Lubitski remain a love-or-hate case, as he squirrels, he whispers, he growls in a death metal way, he goes all way high pitch whenever he wants, truly serving the disturbing content of the lyrics.
In terms of production and sound mixing, Lying In Wait
sounds different from its predecessor. The crisp sound of First Depression
is replaced by a more “muddy” approach which reminds in a way of 70’s prog rock records. It is as if a thin layer of blur covers the overall outcome, although it does not annoy the listener in the least.
Summing up, in their second album, Depressive Age moves multiple steps forward almost perfecting their craft.