Hidden Gems: Dead Label – “Pure Chaos” (2017)
Genre: Thrash metal / groove metal
Release date: 7th March, 2017
For fans of: Sepultura, Pantera, Death
The heaviest thing to come out of Ireland since the submarine, thrashy power trio Dead Label may be one of the most criminally underheard modern metal bands. With rhythms primal enough to work an entire room into adrenaline-fuelled anarchy, guitar riffs meaty enough to get hairs standing on end and screams brutal enough to shatter glass, these three pummelling rockers are doubtlessly the Emerald Isle’s greatest contribution to the extreme music scene.
Last year, the combo of bassist/frontman Dan O’Grady, guitarist Danny Hall and drummer Claire Percival unleashed their monstrous sophomore record, Throne of Bones (2016), which received critical acclaim thanks to its refreshingly no-nonsense, riff-driven approach. Never ones to rest on their laurels, however, the three-piece is already capitalising on their rising stock with their new single and music video, aptly titled “Pure Chaos”.
Conceptually, the roots of this new track are somewhat mysterious: is it a B-side that got cut from the Throne of Bones record? Is it a lead single for an upcoming, third album? Or, is it simply (and most likely) a stand-alone treat for the fans? Either way, that doesn’t stop it from being ear-splitting in all the best ways.
With Throne of Bones arguably being the best guitar album of 2016, “Pure Chaos” opens up by sticking to Dead Label’s guns and providing a thick, massive riff from Hall. Combined with Percival’s cymbals, the track builds and builds before breaking down into an incomparably heavy main lead, guaranteed to send crowds all over the world into a whirlwind of moshpits, especially with that hype-building start.
O’Grady’s shouts soon cut through, along with his thick, resonating bass. Compared to prior releases, O’Grady’s vocals are far stronger, remaining at a constantly aggressive tone and never once faltering.
The chorus is as simple as it gets, repeating the song’s title numerous times. But this does not work to the band’s detriment, and matches the all-out hard-hitting tone of the rest of the track. “Pure Chaos” has the typically metal lyrical themes of “the degradation of civilisation,” so if a listener was looking for the meaning of life communicated via metal, Dead Label is not the band to do it. But that’s not this group’s purpose: they want to make you lose your mind in the pit by punishing your ears with ceaseless power, and “Pure Chaos” lives up to the band’s modus operandi flawlessly.
The immortal Lemmy once stated that rock n’ roll is “rebellion for its own sake”, and “Pure Chaos” is a track that embodies that philosophy whole-heartedly. It’s heavy, it has riffs with unrivalled power, rhythm work with infective energy and growls with untamed ferocity. What more can a metalhead ask for?
Dead Label will be playing the Dogtooth Stage at Download Festival on Saturday, 10th June, 2017.