Review LOCK UP ‘The Dregs of Hades’

If Lock Up is a supergroup, I don’t know. What I do know is that this outfit is a collective of death metal and grindcore greats that firm under the moniker of Lock Up. It was in 1998 when Shane Embury, Nicholas Baker and Jesse Pintado started this sonic wreckingball. Embury and Baker have been the main characters of Lock Up. and after the tragic death of guitarist Jesse Pintado, Lock Up decided to move on, although it took a while before getting back into song writing mode.

With ‘The Dregs of Hades’, Lock Up has their fifth full-length album in the starting blocks and one of the good news is the fact that Tomas Lindberg, frontman of the mighty At The Gates, is back. And another line-up change happened during the last years also. Founding member Nick Baker left the band in 2020 and was replaced by Adam Jarvis who premiers on ‘The Dregs of Hades’.

Lock Up is not a band that counts on complex structures and playful details. The quintet bases their music on aggressive and untamed metal, somewhere in the overlap between death metal and grindcore. A racing tempo is one of the key elements of Lock Up and songs like the brutal ‘Black Illumination’ are a great example for quality with speed. What ‘Black Illumination’ also proves is that Lock Up has also a great sense for grooving and slower riffs. It’s both factor, forming the greatness of this album. There is no moment of peaceful calmness. Instead, the quintet starts an impressive storm with hurricane quality. 

The songs on ‘The Dregs of Hades’ are mostly in the two-minutes except for the intro ‘Death Itself, Brother of Sleep’ and the epic closer ‘Crucifixion of Distorted Existence’. OK, the mentioned ‘Black Illumination’ is also slightly above the three minute mark. However, especially the closing tune on the album shows that Lock Up have a wider range of sounds at hand than solely pure speed. The start of the track is almost Slayer-esque and when vocal join, the song stays in a rather slow pace. Evil and fury are still present, as with the other tracks, just slightly different. With a calmer and oppressive middle part, the song is a highlight on the album with a hellish flavour throughout. It is more like this song pushes the gates to hell wide open, and there is a discomfortable vibe that fascinate and slowly wraps your soul into the mists of evil.

‘The Dregs of Hades’ is an album that showcases experts at work. Instead of pressing all inspiration into the sound of their mothership bands, the quintet uses Lock Up as an outlet for furious songs that reflect only one intention – let’s go wild and extreme. And since each of the five guys has a rich toolkit of experience at hand, ‘The Dregs of Hades’ sounds wild and is still to the point. These songs are savagery with style.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Death Itself, Brother Of Sleep
  2. Hell Will Plague The Ruins
  3. The Dregs Of Hades
  4. Black Illumination
  5. Misdirection Thief
  6. Dead Legions
  7. Triumph Of The Grotesque
  8. Nameless Death
  9. A Sinful Life Of Power
  10. Ashes
  11. The Blind Beast
  12. Reign On In Hell
  13. Crucifixion Of Distorted Existence

Label: Listenable Records

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: November 26th, 2021

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