Sunday, March 02, 2014

Review: Running Death - The Call of Extinction

While it may seem that Running Death are new to the world of metal the four piece group have actually been around since 2004. The German thrashers released their demo in 2007 and followed it up with an EP entitled Raging Nightmare in 2010. In between discs the band have toured relentlessly both locally and nationally, landing themselves on the stage with well established acts such as Debauchery and Suicidal Angels. Currently writing their debut album, which is anticipated to release later this year, Running Death are spreading their name with their 2012 EP, The Call of Extinction. Is this a band that you should be watching out for later this year, or will they be another grenade in the pit of generic thrash genocide? 

Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Self-released/independent
Release Date: February 25th, 2012
  1. Unleashed
  2. Killing for Gods
  3. Call of Extinction
  4. Celebrate Your Aggression
  5. Hunting for Heads
Total Playtime: 28 minutes, 38 seconds







Rating: 8.0/10







While it may seem that Running Death are new to the world of metal the four piece group have actually been around since 2004. The German thrashers released their demo in 2007 and followed it up with an EP entitled Raging Nightmare in 2010. In between discs the band have toured relentlessly both locally and nationally, landing themselves on the stage with well established acts such as Debauchery and Suicidal Angels. Currently writing their debut album, which is anticipated to release later this year, Running Death are spreading their name with their 2012 EP, The Call of Extinction. Is this a band that you should be watching out for later this year, or will they be another grenade in the pit of generic thrash genocide?

From the very beginning of the album there is a subtle, yet noticeable, early-era Metallica influence that's slathered with a mid-era Slayer distortion. The content hits hard and heavy while delivering swift and smooth riffs, beats and solos almost effortlessly; all the while it's easy to hear the emphatic passion that each member injects into their instrument and compositions. These characteristics couple pleasantly with the slightly grungy quality of the album's production to set it apart from the all too clean formulation and emotionlessness that is found in a lot of newer thrash records.


The material is subdued thrash of the medium tempo range that mostly leaves the drums to carry the velocity steadiness while the dual guitars occasionally exceed the main pace. The drums themselves are made up of your typical blast beats and patterns for this particular genre and unfortunately don't stand out as much as the remaining elements. The guitar rhythms are captivating, especially in "Unleashed" and "The Call of Extinction", and no where near run-of-the-mill; instead they're imaginative and refreshing, using both power chords and chunky one/two string riffs and bridges. The same creative flair can be said for the solos as well, which are shared between both guitarists/vocalists; the scales chosen for the solos suit the content and compositions perfectly and are generally comprised of an up-scale/down-scale flow. However, these solos tend to stick to the same formula and pace in the majority of the tracks, "Celebrate Your Aggression" has the most stand-out solo segment with the most differentiating stride. The bass is audible to a welcoming level and even carries the weight of some of the tracks with its deep grooves and tight, fluid lines. Despite the inclusion of two sets of vocals (one from each guitarist), this element comes off a little cut and dry. While one vocal set is clean the other is more of a shout that incites chants; both vocal abilities need refining here to make a bigger impact on the impending album, and a harsher overall tone could potentially push the content to new heights.

Running Death have captured something great with The Call of Extinction. Given that it was released two years ago the band have most likely honed their skills at this point as well, given their continual touring. While this EP has some great tracks to offer, the content falls a little short around "Celebrate Your Aggression" and "Hunting for Heads" as the same-paced momentum wears thin. A debut release from this band would need more tempo variables in both the overall track and solo compositions, as well as more creative drumming and slightly harsher vocals. Definitely a group to keep your eye on, check out this album while you're waiting for the debut full-length album from Running Death at the end of this year!

Physical Copy Provided by: Metal Message 

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