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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Dead By Wednesday 'Dead By Wednesday' Review By Nina McCarthy
Dead By Wednesday 'Dead By Wednesday' Review By Nina McCarthy

Dead By Wednesday

Dead By Wednesday

EMP Label / Combat Records

April 19, 2019

Review By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio

I have followed New Haven, Connecticut's Dead By Wednesday since the original inception in 2005. I have always been a fan and even booked them back in my promoter days. Of the various frontmen over the years, there is something about Rob Roy’s vocals and his monstrous stage presence that make him my favorite of all the versions of the band I have witnessed. The self-titled album, released April 19, 2019 is the first release featuring Rob himself and thus was highly anticipated. I finally got my hands on a physical copy and this is one review I had to tackle myself.


Opening instrumental track called “Vekja (The Awakening)” has an eerie, almost Viking sound and I find myself escaping from reality and jumping into the scene depicted on the cover art and readying myself for this journey. If I was enjoying any serenity in my departure, that was short lived when “Smelling Salts” slapped me in the face. A great song about not letting hypocritical society tell us what to look like or what to do, but rather give it a big middle finger and harness our strength. DBW’s songs have always been written about current world affairs, race and equality, or addiction, making every song much more meaningful to hear. “(Un)FTW” [ or “(Un) Fuck The World” for those not fazed by the explicit lyrics] follows nicely with the same aggressive lyrics and assaulting beat with the masterful drumming of Christian “Opus” Lawrence, accompanied by the fierce thumping of longtime bassist Michael Modeste, and the strong presence of newest member Dave Sharpe on guitar. There have been some pretty amazing guitarists that have graced the stage with DBW, and Sharpe, no doubt stands up to the task.


Things slow down a little with one of my favorites that I’ve heard several times live, “You & I.” By slow down, I by no means mean anything close to a ballad. We appreciate the softer side of Roy’s vocals, but the heaviness still remains in the music. Of note, the album does conclude with an acoustic version of this song, that shows the versatility that Roy has brought to this band and album. Just when you think you got it figured out, this album screws with your expectations, often in spectacular ways, showing that these guys aren’t afraid to disregard genre boundaries. 

Don’t get too relaxed now, “Manimal,” once again, continues the brutal assault that this band loves to bring to the live show. If you like to bang your head and mosh in the pit, then most likely this will be your song of choice.   

Tracks 6 and 7, "Darwin’s Dance (Pt. 1)” and “Darwin’s Demise (Pt. 2)” once again really showcases the drums, as I’m exhausted picturing Opus back there pounding on them. A powerful story is told between these two songs about how disgraceful mankind has become with lyrics such as “the only population control is war” and “for all of your gifts what do we return...disgust, disgrace…” The following track “Chrysalis” reminds me of a familiar sound of some older DBW, which shows with growth they remain loyal to sounds of the past. 

“Beatdown and Broken” is probably how Opus and Mike have felt over the years with the challenges of changing frontmen, but this song is a throwback in the faces of the doubters and naysayers with “Beat down and broken but I’m still here....again and again I get back up.” This is certainly something we have all felt in our lives and the chorus is catchy and most likely you will find yourself singing along. 

“Out The Door” again slows it down a little vocally with a more rock sound to the lyrics, but with the same unrelenting intensity from the accompanying instruments. Before the final acoustic track, “Break When I’m Dead (V2.0),” previously featuring Eric Ak (Flotsam and Jetsam) on the previous album The Darkest of Angels, is one that gives us that last punch of energy to continue on the fight for this country that needs saving. As with the rest of the songs, you can’t help but feel angry and pissed off, yet not left completely without hope, granted we take action.   

I don’t often rate the albums I review, but I have to give this one a 10/10!  From the initial packaging, the cover art, to the insert with lyrics featuring a band photo by local Connecticut photographer, Anthony Freskietti, right down to the songs themselves, I was enthralled. As I said, I’ve followed this band since the beginning and this by far is my favorite album by DBW, and there’s been some amazing ones, don't get me wrong. The bar is set extremely high for their next release, but first, let’s enjoy this one for awhile. Although there are some deep guttural screams, this album is full of meaningful messages along with clean vocals as well. It is a ‘must have’ for any metal lover's collection. Go buy it, and if you can’t find it, ask the store to order it! It is also available for download, and don’t forget you can always snag one at a live show, which I encourage you to attend if you see Dead By Wednesday coming to your area. You will be glad you did.  


Recorded at Dexter's Lab Recording, Milford, CT

Engineered by Nicky Bellmore

Produced by Nicky Bellmore and Dead By Wednesday

Co-Produced by Christian F Lawrence

Marstered by Zeuss

Executive Producers: Thom Hazaert & Dave Ellefson 

(Photo credit for the review, except for album cover, go to Marlene Buckley Photography)

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