No One Knows What The Dead Think is the spiritual follow-up to Discordance Axis, featuring Rob Marton on guitars and bass, alongside Jon Chang – who some of you may know as former Gridlink vocalist- handling the vocal duties and Kyosuke Nakano (formerly of Cohol) behind the drum kit. No One Knows What The Dead Think closely follows the abrasive, balls-to-the-wall, and technical deathgrind stew which has been cemented in the group’s former identity. It is every bit as pissed off and fiery as anyone would expect.
As it is fashionable with such high-octane genres and records, No One Knows What The Dead Think clocks in at just a minute shy of twenty minutes. In spite of the fact that it may sound short even by these standards, the whole action is quite densely packed, and as such it totally eschews any perception of time over its course. There is quite simply next to no space to breathe anywhere on the album, save for the eerily ominous “Red Echoes”. This doesn’t do much in the way of cutting some slack, since the album is over one track later.
The record is packed to the brim with a really dynamic and engaging delivery. It retains all the insanely aggressive traits of the ‘grind’ component and furiously slaps the punchy sound we have come to associate closely with anything that starts with ‘death’ on top of them. It should probably come as no surprise then that in terms of prowess, everyone in the band is on their A++ game. The vocals are simply bewildering, screeching like mathcore-esque de-tuned guitar dissonances, while the grinding riffs are just all over the place like a hail of tunnel-boring drills. This absolute sonic destruction is amplified exponentially by the simply inhuman percussive torrent that washes over the listener at any moment.
There is no space left unpummeled via some kind of sonic jolt, and it is done with great taste. This brutal display is all the more entertaining thanks to the crystal-clear production, which removes most traces of the usual murkiness associated with such works. This way, No One Knows What The Dead Think turns it into what I can only describe as a hi-fi tornado of shrieks and chainsaws. I think this metaphor describes “Dominion” as aptly as it does the overall feeling of the entire album. As far as this niche goes, the songwriting is quite diverse, offering a technical edge that doesn’t feel monotonous or tiresome.
No One Knows What The Dead Think give us the goods in the ‘relentless shower of sonic abuse’ segment. They have achieved a balance that is all too rare and coveted by similar bands, namely a balance between being brutal, varied, and engaging. On top of that, the sounds that give life to this monstrosity are just the icing on this cake of madness. I honestly never thought I would ever really enjoy anything with ‘grind’ in its tags, yet here I am, getting a hearty kick out of this record. I’m sure many others will as well.