15 Times Dead

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Monday, January 28, 2013
Review Type: 

Taking influences from some of the major Rock and Metal bands of the past 30 years to create their own sound and style, Glasgow based quartet formed in 2004 (current line-up – possibly the original – consisting of lead singer/ bassist Andy Ritchie, guitarist/ singer Scott Watson, guitarist Tam Ritchie, and drummer William Bownlie), and quickly gained a top spot in the list of must-see bands of the local Metal scene!

The band's music being typified by heavy and chunky brain pummeling riffs, in combination with entertaining and explosive gigs, caused early fans of 15xDead to label it as Girth Metal. At the start of 2005, the band made it into the Scottish finals of the global Emergenza Battle Of The Bands contest, playing to a full-capacity O2 Academy in Glasgow with the judges hailing them “A powerful act with a very distinct style and a lot of energy on stage”. Subsequently, UK Metal magazine Terrorizer listed the band as one of the acts to look for in the coming year. 15xDead followed things up with key support gigs for Panic Cell, Blitzkrieg and Blaze Bayley, and also appeared as the headline unsigned band at the Monsterz Of Rock & Metal Festival. Another highlight for the band since then, was to play at Wales' Hard Rock Hell IV festival, where they shared stages with the likes of Airbourne, Hardcore Superstar, Viking Skull, UFO, Uriah Heep, Skid Row, Saxon, MSG, and many more. A nice twist in the info which leads me to the band's music...as there IS a connection, you know! (I mean, hahah...that was actually mentioned in the opening sentence of the first paragraph, wasn't it?

And this is where knowledge of the history of hard & heavy music comes in handy to explain how 15xDead has used the best of several genres to make for an truly effective style of their own. You see, when in the second half of the '70s British Hard Rock and early Metal bands saw how the commercialisation of the Punk Rock scene was severely hurting their chances of getting recording deals, many of them upped the ante, and adding a progressive touch to their music, lay at the basis of what would later become known as the British New Wave Of Heavy Metal (a term invented by one of the renowned music journalists at the very beginning of the scene's uprising). At the beginning of the '80s, that scene had actually gotten a nice breakthrough, with Saxon, Iron Maiden, and Diamond Head (amongst others) leading the pack. Meanwhile, over in America...more specifically the West Coast, in fact concentrated around San Francisco's Bay Area...some bands were liking what came out of the UK, but only as a basis and, injecting the vocal acidity of the Punk scene (as well as its socio-politically lyrical themes, by the way) and adding a certain angularity to the music, “invented” the Thrash Metal genre. That the genre had a slightly faster breakthough than the NWoBHM, can be related to the fact that a lot of the bands in the Bay Area actually fed off each other. How does this relate to 15xDead? Well, their sound is like as if a British NWoBHM act might've visited the Bay Area in those days of the early Thrash scene, and been given a jolt by it. So, the band starts playing slightly more angular, without losing its melodicity, and the singer starts singing with a sharper edge, without for that matter losing his melodic touch altogether...nor his typically English sounding vocal signature, for that matter! You gotta lóve it...I mean, I certainly do, and how yoù end up feeling about the band is of course a matter of personal taste!

15XDead being a contemporary band, the scenario above of course did not happen, but the picture is comparable enough, except for the fact that in some of the calmer passages (check the songs “Deception” and more specifically “Through These Eyes”) the band also injects Doom Metal elements. No surprise then, that the label recommends this album to fans of Metallica and Megadeth, but I was a little surprised they put fans of Pro-Pain and Entombed in the same list! Well, you know...if you dó feel in that category of heavy music fans, by all means check out the band at either their own webspace (www.) 15timesdead.com or at (www.) myspace.com/15timesdead.