ดอนผีบิน / Donpheebin - เส้นทางสายมรณะ / Way of Death - A destructive change of style - 62% (1994)
Only 11 months after its first record that varied between emotional and nature inspired ballads, melodic and technically appealing heavy metal songs and a couple of energizing thrash metal tracks, the trio ดอนผีบิน or Donpheebin from Chiang Mai in Thailand is back with a follow-up entitled “เส้นทางสายมรณะ” or “Way of Death”. You might be surprised but there are a lot of changes between those two albums and sometimes you might even ask yourself if this is still the same band.
Gone are the down-stripped ballads and the classic heavy metal anthems with extensive guitar solos. The pitiless and dystopian opener “สุดแท้ทางเดิน” or “The True Path” is a brutal piece of speed and thrash metal with guttural vocals, high speed drumming and discordant guitar solos that take no prisoners despite a short mid-tempo breakdown in the middle of the track. This song sounds a lot like Slayer for example and already shows us what this album may sound like. The vocals are sometimes even much closer to death metal than to thrash metal.
The apocalyptic opening minutes of “สังคมบัญชา” or “Social Orders” are rather slow dystopian parts à la Voivod before the track gets a blistering twist with up tempo passages recalling early Morbid Angel for example. This sounds quite crazy and is definitely a feast for any extreme metal fan. This album is though a quite mixed bag for old and new fans. Those who liked the band’s first album might feel confused about the band’s development but those who thought that their first output was too soft might have a positive surprise with this.
You might now think that the band only put a few harder songs at the beginning of the album just like on the previous release. But the whole record turns out to fully dedicated to up tempo extreme metal. I must though admit that the first three or four songs are by far the rawest ones while the other tracks sound a little bit more like melodic thrash metal in the key of Heathen or Metallica and also include a few mid-tempo passages that may give you some time to breathe. Once you have accepted this change of style, you might realize that these twenty-five minutes are a great ride for those who appreciate the genre.
In the end, the band delivers us an American sounding, and quite entertaining, mixture of death, speed and thrash metal that should please to those who care for the early works of Death, Heathen, Metallica, Morbid Angel, Slayer, Venom or Voivod. The record is a little bit too short with only twenty-five minutes of running time. Three instrumental tracks plus another song that only includes a few words as lyrics out of eight songs are way too much even if they happen to be rather short. They are not stunning enough or technically appealing to justify their existence. That’s why this record rather feels like a somewhat rushed EP release for faithful fans than a real full length release. With a few more regular tracks instead of the instrumentals, this could have been a really great and consistent record. As it is, this album has its charm but turns out to be a lot less essential than the first record. I would only recommend this to collectors of exotic extreme metal music.
Originally written for The Metal Observer« ดอนผีบิน / Donpheebin - อุบาทว์ - อุบัติ / Disastrous Device Occurrence (1995) - A coherent and mature fusion of genres - 77% (26/05/14)Gamma Ray - Master of Confusion (2013) - Great studio tracks but weak live material - 70% (26/05/14) »
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