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"Disposing Of Betrayers" REVIEWS 2010

Discussion in 'These Are They' started by STEVE NICHOLSON, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    These are They- Disposing of Betrayers-CD (The End Records)


    So current and former members of Novembers Doom are back with a new album under the band name These are they. I like to call this the US assault of melodic European Death Metal as they remind me of bands like Dismember, Entombed and Bolt Thrower but with a Darker more American element that bands like Morbid Angel and Incantation added to that style. Paul's vocals are really perfect for a band of this Mid Tempo Death sound. Its not fucking grinding or blast core its solid and strong Old School Death metal the way it should be. You can hear every crushing riff and punishing element of the band that it is trying to come across with. 80/90's Death Metal head will not be more proud or happy to hear of a band or album like this coming back. Remember the Good old Earache, Nuke blast or Roadrunner days, this is where These are They shines...

    http://azm-magazine.blogspot.com/2010/07/9-new-reviews-7312010.html
     
  2. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    The New Review

    Thrower, Devastation, Goatwhore, Kataklysm, These Are They 2 Comments These Are They are a straightforward death metal band from Chicago. You wouldn’t know it without research though, as their mid-paced steamroller grooves have more in common with the UK’s Bolt Thrower and the Stockholm death metal scene that anything American.

    Disposing of Betrayers opens up with “The Massacre”, which is where the Bolt Thrower influence is immediately heard. A gigantic ball busting riff backed by a slow groove beat sets the tone and lets the listener know that These Are They are here to suffocate with heaviness rather than to perplex with technicality.

    On track 2, “Behind the Door”, These Are They let loose their Stockholm learnings. The opening riff is immediately reminiscent of Bloodbath and the legions of bands they pay homage to. At this point it also becomes obvious that the guitar tone and vocal timbre are likewise Stockholm-influenced.

    The style remains in this vein throughout the album. Aside from the surprise black metal à la Goatwhore on the closing track, there is nothing really new brought to the table. I can’t and won’t knock a band for simply providing some headbanging fun though, and that’s what These Are They do. If you’re into Bolt Thrower, Bloodbath, Amon Amarth, Kataklysm, or any other band of that ilk, These Are They will get you going in no time.

    Consider this last paragraph a prologue, as these thoughts didn’t at all affect my review of the music, but what’s up with the band name? These Are They? I can’t imagine the horrible morphings that must undergo in countries where English is not the first language. The album art is also really weird. It makes me think of some kind of futuristic mob scenario where Joe Pesci is riding around on a hoverboard.

    http://thenewreview.net/reviews/these-are-they-disposing-of-betrayers
     
  3. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    Scribe Bloody Gore Vol II, Death Metal Report

    Just because These Are They contains three members from Novembers Doom does not mean they are a doom metal band. Sure, their newest recording Disposing of Betrayers has its down-tempo moments, but the bulk of the album operates at a mid-paced level, which is too fast to categorize as doom. These Are They is quite diverse in their compositions. “La Mano Nera” moves between skull-crushing stomp rhythms and Morbid Angel-like guitar ring-outs. “By Phaeton's Design” could pass off parts to Amon Amarth, and blasting drums and guitar work on the title track shows the group leaning towards black metal. Disposing of Betrayers is full of buzzing death metal guitar work, but the clean production, melodies and range of style makes it an album with crossover appeal.
    http://www.blistering.com/fastpage/fpengine.php/link/1/templateid/20176/tempidx/5/menuid/3
     
  4. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    KIK AXE MUSIC

    On their sophomore album DISPOSING OF BETRAYERS (out September 14 via Unruly Sounds/The End Records), fellow Chicagoans THESE ARE THEY mine the rich history of Organized Crime in our city to create an album that carries with it a unique topical approach wrapped within it's brutal sonic delivery.

    On the surface, the nine-song set is an impeccably-produced throwback to the glory days of early 90's death metal, bound to capture the ears of those into BRUTAL TRUTH, OBITUARY, or ENTOMBED. Beneath the surface lies something much more sinister and delightful - THESE ARE THEY are friends of ours.



    "Growing up on the streets of Chicago, it's "underworld" was always present. The streets were tough. Shady characters were a part of life, and you knew who was friend or foe. The dangerous subject of this collection had to be approached with tact," says guitarist Steve Nicholson - and he's right.

    Those that have grown up or lived not only within the city limits of Chicago, but in it's vast network of suburbs can identify with a feeling that others may not be able to fully relate or comprehend. The criminal underworld is always there - always present - and for some reason, always felt. Despite being on the "right" or "wrong" side of the law, there's a sense of pride that comes with the association - one that may not be politically correct, normal, or morally sound - but it's a part of life in Illinois.

    From the moment you see the cover art for DISPOSING, you know what you're in for. A dead body lie inside the trunk of a Cadillac, his dirty hands bound with rope - his blood-drenched face smothered within a clear plastic bag. It's a fate met by more than a few within the Land of Lincoln.



    Can you get a lesson in gangster history from an album? Let's look at a two examples:



    "The Massacre" opens the album, delivering a heavy groove that recalls Entombed's 1993 album WOLVERINE BLUES and tells of a "meeting of the minds" where a bloody hit will be carried out - The Saint Valentines Day Massacre of 1929.



    "La Mano Nera" is based around The Black Hand, an extortion technique made famous by the delivery of cryptic, hand-written messages demanding payment (like protection money) and signed with a crude black hand. "The message has been delivered," says the song, "a choice of life or death."

    In the end we all of a choice.

    For you the decision should be simple - come September 14th, don't make a shadowy figure hold a gun to your head. Pick this one up or be disposed of. As our former governor would say, "It's Fuckin' Golden!"

    James Zahn
    http://www.kikaxemusic.com/reviews/...re-they-disposing-of-betrayers-advance-review
     
  5. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    Arriving just in time to amplify my excitement for Mafia II, Disposing Of Betrayers is These Are They’s remaining of Chicago’s lush history of organized crime. Each song (barring a cover of Devastation’s Cranial Hemorrhage… which is just as glorious as it sounds!) is inspired by actual events from Chicago’s dark underworld.

    Disposing Of Betrayers is everything I love about higher quality production death metal. Slick, but not sickeningly so (thanks to Dan Swano for once), sprawling soundscapes that are thanks to the incorporation of random progressive elements and a perfection that you can only really find in works that are gone over with a fine toothed comb. Granted, some of you are screaming out, “Over production kills!” And you may be right in some cases. But here and now, you can fuck right off.

    The vocalist shows enough in the way of guttural intimidation to satisfy even straight up death metal enthusiasts. The dual guitars run back and forth from dizzyingly classic death metal riffs to At The Gates inspired melodies and even throw in some subtle progressive deals.

    Overall: I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ALBUM!!! It tickled me in all the right spots and has all the kick of a locked and loaded Chicago Typewriter.

    Good sweet Christ, there will be No Angels To Catch You!

    10/10

    http://www.funeralrain.net/2010/09/11/these-are-they-disposing-of-betrayers/
     
  6. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    Rapid fire death metal from Chicago with a strong emphasis on rhythm and tempo. This is the band's sophomore release and they have increased their speed on this release from their debut "Who Linger." Paul Kuhr's vocals blend perfectly into the wall of sound that is this album.
    Through the intelligent usage of speed changes, the band succeed in creating a solid death metal album that keeps to the roots of the genre while throwing in a few modern elements for flair. This CD is an all out death metal assault and well worth checking out. Stand out tracks include: "Behind the Door" and "By Phaeton's Design."


    http://www.metallife.com/reviews/display_review.php?id=253
     
  7. Novembers Paul

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    About.com - By Dan Mariscano

    The Bottom Line

    These Are They crank the intensity up to ungodly levels on their vile follow-up to Who Linger.

    Pros

    Stripped-down death metal that lacks the awkward melodic elements of their debut.
    Paul Kuhr's bellowing growls.
    Great cover of an underrated track in Devastation’s "Cranial Hemorrhage."

    Cons

    Album sputters a bit near the end, but recovers with the gripping title track.
    Description

    Released September 14, 2010 on The End Records.
    These Are They’s sophomore album.
    Side-project of Novembers Doom vocalist Paul Kuhr.
    Guide Review - These Are They - 'Disposing Of Betrayers'

    Less than a year after their debut album, These Are They return with the chaotic Disposing of Betrayers. While Who Linger had odd moments of experimentation and a more death/doom sound, Disposing of Betrayers is full-on death metal. No clean vocals, no melodic guitar breakdowns, and no lackluster Soundgarden cover to be found here. The band seems to have a fiery blaze lit underneath them, stripping down to the most essential necessities in order to provide a vicious sonic palette.
    The songs on the album are tighter and focused on slamming the listener into submission. A heavy dosage of blast beats makes a visible presence on “Behind The Door,” while Paul Kuhr’s harsh growls have a degree of power to them that hasn’t been heard since the early days of Novembers Doom. The level of technical skill has improved, most noticeable with the bass work. A great bass solo on the creepy, slow burner “No Angels To Catch You” show expertise that was nowhere to be seen on the last album.

    From start to finish, Disposing of Betrayers never gives any leeway with churning out piping-hot death metal. A few slower numbers, “By Phaeton's Design” and “La Mano Nera,” do little to cool things down. No matter how restraint the beginning may seem, the song eventually succumbs to temptation and flies off the handle. This kind of wild songwriting works fantastically for These Are They. A slight bump in the plodding “Evening Widows” is smoothed over with the ruthless title track, which starts out innocently enough with a soft piano intro and ends with a blistering diatribe of the senses.

    The lyrics are based upon Chicago’s history of organized crime. This means lots of lines detailing brutal hangings, bloody murders, and streaks of rage and anger that fit with the death metal sound. The only track that doesn’t go along with this concept is the cover of Devastation’s “Cranial Hemorrhage.” A faithful rendition that features Devastation guitarist Erv Brautigam and vocalist Duane Rasmussen, the classic death metal track is given the modern sheen that it definitely needed.

    Disposing of Betrayers does what a sophomore album should do: improves on the faults of the debut, shows that some new ground has been covered, and avoids slipping into a comfort zone. These Are They have broken free of the other projects that the band members are involved with and can step out as its own entity. Old-school death metal has been beaten and battered into the ground, but Disposing of Betrayers shows that there is still some breath left in its crushed lungs.
     
  8. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    Don’t know These Are They? Well, unless you wanna end up in the back of a trunk like the dude above, you should learn who they are right quick. The side project of Novembers Doom’s Paul Kuhr, These Are They channel crushing old-school death metal acts like Morbid Angel and Devastation — in fact, they cover Devastation’s “Cranial Hemorrhage” with Devastation guitarist Erv Brautigam and vocalist Duane Rasmussen on their new, mafia-themed album, Disposing of Betrayers, which is out today on The End. And in case that didn’t provide enough metal cred for you, the album was produced by Chris Wisco (Michael Angelo Batio, Dirge Within) and mixed and mastered by the legendary Dan Swanö (if you need Swanö’s credits, you shouldn’t be reading this website).

    To help celebrate the release of Disposing of Betrayers, MetalSucks is proud to be giving away a free download of the track “La Mano Nera,” which means “The Black Hand,” which means the mob — like we said, these are some tough Chicago motherfuckers, and they’re not to be fucked with. So download the track below, and crank that shit. Then, once you’ve felt the song’s awesome power, order yourself a copy of Betrayers here. If you don’t do it, we might send Paul Kuhr to pay a little visit to your family… capiche?

    http://www.metalsucks.net/2010/09/1...re-and-download-these-are-theys-la-mano-nera/
     
  9. Novembers Paul

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    Reviewed For ULTIMATE METAL

    These Are They - Disposing of Betrayers
    The End Records - September 2010
    By Jason Wick

    [​IMG]


    Death metal is a genre that has been struggling to lyrically expand itself since its inception, and for the most part it has failed. Typically we will find ourselves exploring very similar, clichéd subject manner every time we listen to a death metal release. Enter Disposing of Betrayers, the sophomore release from These Are They with lyrical concepts based around the history of organized crime in Chicago that would remind most of a raging sax over a jazz guitar and suddenly we have something fresh, yet fitting for death metal. I accepted this breath of fresh air quite eagerly, and was also pleasantly surprised by the intelligent detailing found within the words framework.

    Musically this album hits quite hard, being rather reminiscent of the catchy approach to brutality that Swedish bands like Carnage and Dismember made popular in the early 90’s, with hints of Morbid Angel from the same time period. This old school approach combined with the fresh lyrical concepts displayed in this release nailed quite the sweet spot for me. Hitting heavier than the acts freshman release, the listener is pummeled by thrashing, brutal riffs performed with precise, thought out patterns laced within memorable, catchy song structures. There are a couple short periods on the album where your attention isn’t held as well as the rest of the release does, but overall the writing affectively keeps you enthralled throughout.

    Vocally we witness the power of Paul Kuhr’s guttural prowess. Deep and strong, his growls continue to stand out as some of the best in the genre. On Disposing of Betrayers his enunciation, while still strong, takes a back seat to the brutality. This is especially noticeable on the heavier tracks the release has to offer. Combine these vocals with the experienced polish provided by the Novembers Doom / ex-Novembers Doom members and you have the makings of one very strong package, add in the excellent song structures and we have an experience that is contending for my pick of metal album of the year.

    In conclusion, These Are They showed us a lot of potential with their freshman release, and now with Disposing of Betrayers they have capitalized on said potential, improving tenfold on an already strong standing. This sophomore release offers an experience that is both ambitious, and holds true to old school tendencies within the genre they have successfully invaded. These Are They is contending with all the big names within death metal from this moment on.


    Official These Are They Website
    Official These Are They MySpace
    Official The End Records Website
     
  10. Novembers Paul

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    Reviewed by www.metalreviews.com
    by Erik Thomas

    Reviewing an album featuring a Metal Review team member is always a little awkward, and while I felt a little bad about my review of These Are They’s debut, Who Linger, drummer Sasha Horn never said a word about it. Still, I was much relieved upon listening to the follow-up from this Novembers Doom side project / Chicago supergroup as it improves upon every aspect of the debut.

    Admittedly with Paul Kuhr (November's Doom) still at the vocal helm, a former member of November's Doom on guitar and Sasha Horn (also of Novembers Doom,for those that don’t know) on drums, and considering November's Doom's descent into more death metal realms, the comparison to November's Doom is still valid. But by using the Windy City’s sordid Mob- / Mafia-littered history as the lyrical backbone of the album, they have distanced themselves from the more doomy, moody and emotional textures that plagued their debut and made them a simple November's Doom clone. The end result is grittier, heavier, nastier and a far more confident, complete and competent album that sees the group more committed to making These Are They a force in death metal, not just a bunch of Chicago dudes palling around.

    Starting with the fierce rumble of “The Massacre”, it’s apparent These Are They are forcing themselves to be sterner and meaner than the ‘other band’. Gone are the synths and strands of melancholy acoustics and somber mood-setting and Soundgarden cover song. Instead, the band -- including Kuhr who has dropped his clean vocals here -- seems much more intense and determined to churn out no nonsense, chugging midwestern death metal. Second track “Behind the Door” even opens with a volatile blastbeat that seems to be a cathartic release for Mr. Horn, as well as the rest of the band latching on to the savagery that was gangster-era Chicago rather than daughters, divorce and other more personal themes.

    The rest of the album follows suit, with much more urgency and menace than the safer, controlled mid-paced chug of the debut. Tracks like “By Phaeton’s Design”, “Cranial Hemorrhage”, “La Mano Nera” and the excellent, vitriolic title track (easily the most brutal and complete track the band has done) are just good, solid, aggressive, well-written examples of death metal that mixes good ol’ Midwestern meat 'n' potatoes style with a little more Floridian flare and aggression and bodes well for the project as they continue to sever the November's Doom umbilical cord and become as infamous and brutal in Chicago as Al Capone was.
     
  11. Novembers Paul

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    Reviewed at http://www.skullsnbones.com/profiles/blogs/these-are-they-album-review-by
    By: Alex Silverman
    8.75/10 - 4/5

    OLD SCHOOL DEATH METAL FANS REJOYCE!! For those of you who don’t know, ‘These are They’, they are a November’s Doom side project featuring vocalist Paul Khur, drummer Sasha Horn and former lead guitarist Steve Nicholson. ‘These are They’ is an OSDM (old school death metal) tribute band. The band released their debut, ‘Who Linger’, last year, which was a solid release, but suffered from the flaw that it sounded like a looser, slightly more jam based November’s Doom. It was by no means bad; it was simply a side project that sounded too much like the main project, which had already put out a superior release that year.

    Now we come to the release of the band’s second full length CD, which was released on September 14th, titled, ‘Disposing of Betrayers’. If you enjoy Grave, Bolt Thrower, Bloodbath, early Entombed or any other early 90’s Swedish death metal, you will be right at home here. The album is chalk full of beefy riffs, infectious grooves, vicious growls and just some incredible heaviness provided by Chris Djuricic’s production and Dan Swano’s Mixing. Everything about this album is clean and heavy, almost to the point of overproduction, but not quite. The album still feels organic, but some of the elements may be a bit too polished for some ears, particularly the drums.

    As mentioned before, the riffs have some real girth to them. Don’t go into this album thinking you are going to be blown off you’re feet by insanely technical guitars and 1000 mile per hour blasting. If you do, you will be disappointed. From the opening track, The Massacre, the album bombards you with powerful, heavy riffs, groovy, expertly written solos and some of the most brutal, clear and enunciated vocals in death metal.

    This might be a good time to mention that this is a concept album, based on Chicago’s history of organized crime, a subject very close to the band seeing as they hail from that city. The lyrics are well written and convey the stories they set out to tell quite well. Only once do they break off from this concept, to do a cover of classic Chicago death metal band Devastation’s ‘Cranial Hemorrhage’. To make this cover extra special, the band got original Devastation guitarist Erv Brautigam to record a sensational new solo for the song and original vocalist Duane Rasmussen came in to perform backing vocals.

    In conclusion, this album shows that ‘These are They’ have stepped into their own sound and produced an ear-gasm for those of us who like us some good old school death metal! The only problem I have with this album is the slightly too clean drum sound, and the band won’t be winning any originality awards, though they do mix things up with some black metal for the closer/title track. This album has thundered its way into a solid top ten position, and earns itself four (4) stars from SkullsNBones.
     
  12. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    Chicago death-metal group These Are They was spawned in 2008 from the remnants of the mid-90s group November’s Doom. Disposing of Betrayers, their sophomore effort comes almost on the heels of their first release on the Unruly Sounds label.

    With lyrics based on true-life stories of organized crime in Chicago, the album is a 9-track aural assault that starts hard and never quits. The guitar riff at the end of “La Mano Nera” is a loud and repetitious anthem; a call to action. The line “the message has been delivered” is made all the more ominous by the literal translation of the song’s title: “la mano nera” is Italian for “black hand,” which is a type of extortion racket.

    One of the most powerful sequences on the album comes in the manic guitar sequence, power chords, and grinding bass that power fill the final minute of the track “By Phaeton’s Design.” The climax leads directly into a cover of fellow Chicagoans Devastation’s “Cranial Hemorrhage,” which the band uses to make a special effort to return to the roots of their genre. All the more heartfelt because Devastation guitarist Erv Brautigam and vocalist Duane Rasmussen, lent a helping hand. Brutal honesty and despair come out in lines like “Building strength / I fight myself to move another inch / Swirling mind / I’m held back by the dizziness / Consciousness is coming very close to its end.”

    The intro to the final, and title track sounds like the lead-up to the climax of a horror film, where everyone in the audience is screaming at the heroine not to go in there!

    And sure enough, only destruction awaits.

    Conclusion: Not for the faint of heart.


    http://eburban.com/10/05/review-these-are-they-disposing-of-betrayers
     
  13. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    MIND OVER METAL 4/5


    Chicago’s These Are They break their cycle of releases that begin with the word “who”, which makes me wonder if the original title for this album was Who Dispose of Betrayers. Best to shed gimmicks, though, and for their second full-length, it looks like TAT not only did that, but focused on their strengths to create one gruesome American death metal monster.

    By exclusively straying from the fantastic, one finds the most frightening monsters in the annals of history. Disposing of Betrayers draws inspiration from the events surrounding the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, at the height of “The Noble Experiment” in the United States. During the Prohibition era, Bugs Moran warred with Al Capone for control of alcohol distribution. Throughout the liner notes, [near as I can tell] real-life newspaper excerpts are printed alongside original lyrics that magnify the devastation. And speaking of which, TAT actually cover their Windy City brethren in Devastation on “Cranial Hemorrhage” (featuring guitarist Erv Brautigam and vocalist Duane Rasmussen), which is a much better fit on the album than Soundgarden‘s “4th of July” was on Who Linger.

    Disposing of Betrayers is tighter and better arranged than its predecessor as well—with the strongest tracks at the beginning, middle and end. “The Massacre” catalyzes the brutal downward spiral, highlighting the only survivor when police arrived: Frank Gusenberg (he died soon after, from 14 gunshot wounds); “No Angels to Guide You” continues with a retaliatory tale, summarizing the death of another gang leader; and the title track amplifies the story further, as “hands are tied, leg bones are crushed” of no less than forty victims, who are thrown into the icy December waters of Lake Michigan.

    Although they actually approach the subject from different perspectives, too. “By Phaeton’s Design” is a chilling account of a beating/kidnapping/murder that pays particular attention to the very human emotions of a doomed mobster and “Evening Widows” calls attention to the women on the periphery. Both of these songs have nice bass presence from Wiley Wells, who begins the album’s ominous conclusion with eerie keyboard effects. This is also where vocalist Paul Kuhr shifts from his low growl into slightly higher pitch, sounding especially sinister, and co-founder Steve Nicholson unleashes one of his most understated, yet evocative, solos on the album.

    It’s always good to see bands on the right path. The past few years, These Are They showed promise apart from their original project, Novembers Doom, but still seemed to be searching for their niche. Consider it found.

    http://www.mindovermetal.org/review-these-are-they-disposing-of-betrayers/
     
  14. STEVE NICHOLSON

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    http://www.myalcaponemuseum.com/id117.htm

    The death metal band called "These are they" has just released a cd called "Disposing of Betrayers" which is based on Chicago Gangland past and present.

    The outside back and front cover art pages have recent gangland depictions of a gangster in a trunk that is going to get whacked. The inside contains Capone era depictions with mocked up old newspapers mixed in with 20's era stories. The neat thing about it was the band's ingenious idea of placing the song's lyrics instead of the actual news story. I thought that was pretty cool! While Death Metal is an acquired taste to some, I enjoyed it immensely because the songs have meaning and are all based on an event from that era. The cd has gotten great reviews as their best album yet.

    1)The Massacre (St. Valentine's day massacre).

    2) Behind the Door (Torrio's The Four Deuces club and the gambling and murders that happened there).

    3) Sins of my Brothers (Gangster getting whacked in a basement for betrayal by him and his bretheren)

    4) By Phaeton's Design (Reference to gangster bound and gagged, stuffed in a 1929 Phaeton Cadillac going for a one way ride).

    5) No Angels To Catch You (Dean O'Banion's handshake murder with references to Frankie Yale).

    6) Cranial Hemorrhage (reference to head being bat in by a baseball bat or blunt object. Anselmi, Scalise and Joseph Giunta come to mind).

    7) La Mano Nera (The Black Hand or Sicilain Mafia).

    8) Evening Widows ( Reference to all the wives who became widows after their husband's gangland demises and there were many in Chicago. Refence to Hillside cemetary).

    9) Disposal of Betrayers ( Reference of Lake Michigan used as a dead gangster dumping ground. Many ended up tied down below in the 20-30's).

    Myalcaponemuseum is mentioned in a Classified section (see below)of the mock up newspaper where the credits are listed. How neat!

    Mario Gomes
    http://www.myalcaponemuseum.com/id117.htm
     
  15. Novembers Paul

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    http://www.deafsparrow.com/these-are-they-review-2011.html

    Deaf Sparrow
    4/5

    There was a time when death metal was actually cool, when playing the same as another band didn't really matter, when several styles existed but had yet to be pigeonholed by genreism. Unfortunately, that's exactly what's happened, and now we're stuck with diluted acts riding on the balls of the classics calling their music everything from progressive doom thrash core to black nihilistic cyber death. Classic can still be good, if you understand what it really means. There's a saying from Heinz that success can come when you do "a common thing uncommonly well". Yes, that's the guy who created the most popular ketchup brand on the planet. How does that apply here? Take said bottle of symbolic ketchup, have a friend repeatedly hit you in the head with it as you lift weights, and you get this album. That "creative" description doesn't really make any sense, so let's just start out by saying Disposing of Betrayers fucking kick ass.

    Disposing of Betrayers has an interesting layout. There's this whole gangster era thing with lots of old newspaper clippings and a picture of the band in a bar in mob attire. Good to see someone going against the grain of "brutal" art, avoiding the twirling snakes of imaginary Dungeons & Dragons creatures with lots of teeth, or zombies having sex with their own heads, stuff we got sick of when we realized Lividity sucked. Regardless of what you think of the artwork, however, the music reveals all you need to know about These Are They. This album has the sound of classic death metal in the vein of Morbid Angel, but it steps it up to the modern era, avoiding cliche while keeping the approach classic and fresh at the same time, not something that's simple.

    Pretty much every riff is catchy and Kuhr sounds like he was born for this kind of thing, leading along the riffs with energy and force. Every song has the kind of structure that keeps your attention like an 18-year-old girl to an 80-year-old man, easily above many well-known releases in the past year. It appears these guys are still under the surface, though, which is a real disappointment based on the work found in this album. Disposing of Betrayers doesn't just keep it classic, it brings death metal back to where it needs to be, something you'd actually want to spend the money to see live and doesn't rely on obnoxious lyrics about semen bathing and outlandish live performances to get your attention. These guys tower over plenty of bands on musical quality alone, and that's far fucking better than 90% of the acts out there today. If you're looking for something that plays classically, brings it to the modern era, and increases your bench press by about two-hundred pounds in the process, by all means pick this one up.

    Written by Arkus
     

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