Album: The Death of Me – Bonus/Reissue
In all my years of writing, I don’t think I’ve ever written a review for a re-mastered/re-released version of a record. This is, in part, because I’ve never honestly been asked. However, it’s mostly because there’s never any point. The re-mastered version ends up, nine times out of ten, sounding just like the original with maybe a couple tweaks, and maybe a bonus track tossed in for good measure.
If you couldn’t pick up the sarcasm, it usually isn’t awesome. It’s usually the farthest thing from awesome and most bands just shouldn’t bother. But, as with almost every rule, there is an exception, and it’s that one-out-of-every-ten times that makes the rigmarole of a remastered release worth it. Bodysnatcher’s deluxe reissue of their critically acclaimed debut full-length album, The Death of Me, is one of those times. With five new tracks (enough for a short EP!) and a whole new production job on the album as a whole, The Death of Me shines just as hard—if not harder—as it did the first time around. If you’ve read my summary of that record, cool—it remains unaltered. If not, give it a gander because much of my take on the songwriting and musicianship will be unchanged (most of these songs are, fundamentally, the same). But for those five new songs and the brighter, more organic take on the remainder of the record, The Death of Me has, truly, been given new life.
The Death of Me was widely received as one of last year’s heaviest records—and for good reason. The debut full length effort by a band who basically became synonymous with heavy, The Death of Me stands a brief-but-blistering testament to spine-splitting, brain-boiling brutality. And, as I mentioned above, that didn’t change with the album’s re-issue; or rather, it did, but for the better. The new-and-improved sound feels more organic and warm, with a sharper and more aggressive guitar tone (immediately evident on the revised “Stab” and onward) with percussion that matches. Where not every song sounds totally overhauled, some of them truly do—“Stab,” “Death’s Power,” “Suffering” and the record’s title track chief among them. What’s more is what the band have brought to the table in the five new songs that serve as the opening barrage to The Death of Me (version 2.0, that is). “Ego Killer” and “Show Stopper” are MySpace era album-intro styled tracks, bombarding the listener with lyrical simplicity and instrumental intensity that can hardly be described with words. The songs are pissed off, primal violence, lashing out with explosive drumming and grisly, gnashing fretwork that uses slams, breakdowns and things that sound like a bastard child of the two to beat the listener into submission. The record’s lead (kind of) single, “Consequence,” is (to be brief) everything there is to love about Bodysnatcher in one fell swoop. Bouncy, bold, a little bit groovy and heavier than all of Hell, “Consequence” packs the band’s entire appeal and flair for all things furious into a single song bound to level venues across the country.
There isn’t much more to go into when it comes to The Death of Me’s new and improved counterpart. Bodysnatcher are back with Chris Whited’s drumming and production being the helm and the hands of Kyle Carter (Dealey Plaza, Beacons) adding a new spin on the band’s already gritty and bone-busting fretwork. With new tracks hitting harder than a baseball bat to the dome and the same old songs we know and love still packing a whallop worth writing home about (and even moreso now), the band sound more organic and real than ever before, giving new life to a release that already has the primitive makings of a slam-tinted, downtempo-dusted beatdown classic.
New Songs: 5/5
By: Connor Welsh