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To Descend

Mindless Birth

Review by Craig Leahy

Craig went to text his friends today, but the Swedish old school death metal tyrants To Descend looked him dead in the face, called him an asshole and reminded him that his friends are bad people and he should just stay inside. This is his harrowing story.



Look, I’m going to admit something. I’m pretty damn bad at living a well-adjusted adult life. I’ve wrestled with the temptation to buy the new Zelda special edition Nintendo Switch, the one with the OLED screen multiple times in the last couple of weeks knowing full well if I do it, then when my daughter is born she’ll have a worse cot to sleep in, the worst part is, the next time I think about it I know how my brain is going to talk me out of buying it and I already have counter-arguments for my whack ass logical objections to buying the Switch. I don’t know man, having commitments is hard as fuck. This past weekend my beautiful fiancé and I had nothing to do, she said we should go see my two best friends who we hadn’t seen in months, without even thinking I said “oh no it’s Sunday none of my friends like visits on Sundays’ Not even an excuse, I genuinely believed this. All her friends want to go for brunch all the time, don’t get me wrong I fucking love brunch but brunch should be a shameful activity, head down, don’t sit by the window kind of deal, not table of 15 people saying ‘oh I shouldn’t’ when someone says mimosas, we both know you’re going to drink the mimosa just fucking do it and swap seats with me so I can sit away from the window, just in case a friend walks by and sees me out of the house on a Sunday.

Couple days later I see one of the people my fiancé said we should go visit, I tried laughing with him about it ‘Yea get this she wanted us to come visit ON A SUNDAY’ to which he responded ‘why the fuck didn’t you come see us?’


I truly couldn’t understand why someone would choose socialising over just hanging out on the couch on a Sunday.


I think this speaks a lot to how I operate daily, I don’t reply to Facebook messages, most notifications are turned off on my phone and all that shit. That really gets me thinking, there’s something really magical about the homies that vouch for anarcho-primitivism, you know those guys that run around saying that the industrial revolution was a total waste of time and we should all just hang out, smoke cigs without filters and die at thirty of old age? God damn how cool would that be, don’t get me wrong I don’t want to do it, I don’t think they had Plex servers pre-industrial revolution but fuck me if I wouldn’t give up some luxuries to live in a cave a draw shit with mud for a bit. This whole ideology really rolls up into the death metal I gravitate towards so nicely, I’ve gone off on rants in the past (shock) about how most tech-death bores me to tears, and if you ask me the only true answer to a death metal drummer asking what time signature that riff is in should be ‘it doesn’t matter’. I want a death metal band that makes me return to monkey and texts my friends for me telling them to fuck off, I want a death metal band to remind me when it’s my friend’s birthday on Facebook so I can unfriend said friend, and most importantly I want a death metal band to never drink a fucking craft beer in front of me. Just drink a Lion Brown for fucks sake. IPA? Fuck outta here.


Well my friends, today I found that band.


I woke up to an email today from the over-the-top (in the best way possible) label Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, if you want to know how hard this label is, just check out their website HERE on a desktop computer – The fucking mouse pointer is a little hand giving the horns, pure caveman energy and I fucking love it. HPGD deliver some of the most visceral underground metal releases, the kind of releases you find at 4am after drinking too much coffee and insisting Bloodbath sucks now (they don’t, the new Bloodbath fucking rules you loser). Over at HDGP you’ll find bands using snare drums you’d never show your mum like the fucking incredible EDKH, the criminally underrated Inferion (seriously go check out Inferion, they’re awesome) among others, including the band I’m here to talk about today.


That band is the absolutely fucking grotesque, To Descend. I spent the last couple of days with their upcoming EP Mindless Birth and I have A LOT of opinions.


I’m not going to be a hipster and pretend I’d heard of To Descend before and brag about being more cult than you, no man I’m a fucking loser I’m typing a review at 8.30 in the morning because I saw an album cover that ruined my day. Fuck it’s gross. Someone send me a tee shirt so I can wear it to drop my daughter off at day-care.


To Descend formed in Sweden and released their first EP People of the Abyss in 2018, and just so we’re clear – You know when you hear of a metal band from Sweden and your first thought is that it’s either going to go down the melodic death metal route and just say “ugh fuck, they’re going to have synths” or go towards the light and pray that at least one member of the band has a Left Hand Path tattoo somewhere on their body. Well good fucking news, it sounds like To Descend didn’t even realise At the Gates put out albums after With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness and never even listened to Dark Tranquility because it sounded like a fantasy novel.


Mindless Birth starts off by beating the shit out of your dad and proving the only real father figure you’ve ever needed is To Descend, with the monster track Parasitic Vision. You’re not going to find any subtleties here. I’ve met musicians that use subtleties in their song writing and they’re all posers. Ugh, cool you got a second delay pedal so your delay pedal has a delay pedal, but your riffs still suck so who fucking cares. Parasitic Vision is 2 minutes 40 seconds of reminding why you don’t fight people on the street, because if a song can beat the hell out of you, old Murray who keeps flipping the bird at you every morning can definitely beat you up as well. You can listen to Parasitic Vision HERE


Over the course of twelve and a half minutes (fucking perfect length for an album or EP) Mindless Birth never once faulters, every riff has purpose, and its purpose is to physically intimate you or steal something from your house. Voices in the Fire picks right up where Parasitic Vision left off with its thrash onslaught that knows every embarrassing DM you ever sent anyone as is about to post screenshots, the bassist has some really fucking cool voicings in this songs chorus that stick out enough to make you question if he’s playing the wrong thing then immediately regret questioning him because you’re a dweeb and he’s a Swedish warrior.


To Descend aren’t trying to win any prog album of the year awards here, this album is one thing, old school Swedish death metal. If you’re a fan of early Entombed, Bloodbath, Nihilist or Dismember you’re going to be right at home in this album. If you want synth, melodic, down picked, staccato riffs where you’re never sure if they’re going to do some shit clean vocals at any point, you’re in the wrong neighbourhood and we don’t take kindly to your folk around here.


I won’t go through all the tracks here as there’s only so many words I can use to say the same thing, To Descend want to punish you. What I can say is head over to the HPGD website and pre-save this thing on Bandcamp or buy the CD if you’re that way inclined, you 100% won’t regret it. This EP fucking kills. The only thing I would have loved here is a vinyl release, while probably not cost effective for an EP, I would fucking love to own this on vinyl and if it ever gets one, I’ll be there day one wearing a muscle shirt and shouting at nerds.

Mindless Birth - 4.4  'Sorry I can't make it today" texts out of 5

Pre-order Mindless Birth HERE

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