Label: Listenable Records
A new release from Lock Up is always good news as the famous quote “no news=good news” doesn’t appeal to death/grindcore fanatics. So following “Demonization” that was out in 2017, showcasing new frontman Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth/Venomous Concept) and a more brutal sound than ever before the new fifth studio album by Lock Up was highly anticipated as 4 years seem as a whole life in this speed as fuck days we are living. A new member once again with Adam Jarvis (Misery Index/Scour/Pig Destroyer) replacing Nick Barker behind the drum kit and the big return of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates/Disfear/The Lurking Fear) made “Dregs Of Hades” highly anticipated and it’s listening quiet interesting for me personally speaking.
But unfortunately without being a bad album or a mediocre one my enthusiasm was easily burned out. I had no expectations of any progressive or different approaching by these old school dogs, but a few sporadic alternate elements could have been added in this fifth effort. Except the use of dual vocals that offer a new punkish dynamic as the mixture of gang screams and shouts of Lindberg’s characteristic torn ones that are well blended with the guttural growls of Sharp, or the doomy closer “Crucifixion Of Distorted Existence”, nothing innovating or extra ordinary can be seen here. I don’t claim that the album is a bad one or not extreme but unfortunately it seems like the band is moving in a safe zone and that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
The tight and razor sharp riffs are top notch and the double bass drumming certainly violent and the sound overall groovy and recognizable but the song writing formula is overused and despite the less than 40 minutes that the 14-track LP lasts it could feel a bit tiring for their older fans. To me “The Dregs Of Hades” combines everything we have heard before from the legendary project and works more or less as a best of album or an anthology. This might sounds like a good suggestion for many (if not the most) out there but I wanted more from Lock Up not another day in job or an effortless shot. I hope it is just me carping just because I raised the bar so high…At least as long as it spins it is definitely entertaining…
Highlights: “Hell Will Plague The Ruins”, “Misdirection Thief”, “Triumph Of The Grotesque”, “The Blind Beast” and “Crucifixion Of Distorted Existence”.