For any passionate musicians who are forced to fund the majority of their creative output by holding a full-time job, there’s a dreaded question that not many want to face in reality – your job or your music? That’s the divisive inquisition that faced Debauchery’s Thomas Gurrath in May last year. Working as a trainee teacher in a German school, the death metal enthusiast was told by officials that his live performances – which involve covering himself in animal blood – were ‘a form of mental instability that made him unsafe to be around children’.
His devotion to music persevered, and with no option but to quit the job, his one-man-band returns after this brief fiasco, with a brutal serving of a genre now being dubbed as ‘death ‘n’ roll’. As you may imagine, on very general terms it’s a cross-breed of death metal and rock ‘n’ roll, although Germany’s Next Death Metal incorporates an equally groovy, hard rock sound with domineering but typical DM guttural vocals throughout.
The Unbroken begins in ironic, brazen faced tone, poking fun at the mentalities of those who ousted him from his former job. Stating that death metal is his religion turns out to be almost as ironic as his purposely elaborated, intentionally scoffing, stereotypical death metal lyrics, given that the wah-wah guitar and soloing on the impressive opener is probably more at home on a Guns ‘n’ Roses record.
With Animal Holocaust, Bloodslaughter Onslaught and especially School Shooter, one would have thought that Gurrath’s sarcasm has been taken to the next level, but look at his history of song titling (Chainsaw Masturbation, I Will Rape And Murder) and you realise this guy’s been relying on similar generic titles for some time. Nevertheless, pick-of-the-bunch Zombie Blitzkrieg is a genuinely mean ensemble of edgy riffs while Animal Holocaust lives up to its name with a barricade of thick, distorted guitar providing it’s destructive force despite leaning toward sleaze tendencies in the chorus.
The second half of this record spirals respectfully and not rapidly, and whilst there’s some select moments to be praised, the length of the album feels longer than it really is, being somewhat of a monotonous struggle towards the end. An EP’s-worth portion consisting of the first half of Germany’s Next Death Metal would have nailed it.