Death By Stereo-“Death Is My Only Friend” 9/10

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Death By Stereo, headed by their fearless leader, Efrem Schultz, have been one of my favorite bands for over 6 years. Their CDs are amazing, their live shows are insane, and they are a jolt of energy in an otherwise boring music industry.  They’ve never once sold out, and continue to tour, supporting bands that aren’t as technically proficient or as entertaining, but somehow have amassed more popularity. It’s sad, but also makes me glad that I am amongst the select few that hold this band in such a high regard.

Their latest CD, Death Is My Only Friend, is yet another worthy album to add to their already impressive catalog. It combines the old Death By Stereo hardcore from If Looks Could Kill, I’d Watch You Die, with the more melodic and better song writing from Death For Life. From the first song, “Opening Destruction”, they set the tone for the entire album. You get above average lyrics, combined with great instrumentation and vocals. Just about every track is great.

The only song I don’t care for is “D.B.S.F.U.” mainly because the lyrics read like something written by an angst-riddled 16 year old. Other songs like “I Sing For You” and “Welcome to the Party” are great. I’ve already seen them perform “I Sing For You” live, and it’s a definite crowd pleaser.  

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Each DBS CD seems like it has its own agenda. The first CD was just bat shit insane. The songs weren’t all that great, but parts of each song were ridiculous, so you forgave the overall mediocrity of some of the tracks.

Their second CD offers more musicianship, which ended up making the songs less entertaining. The CD was still very good, but something was missing.

Their third CD is my least favorite, mainly because it sounded a little too mainstream. I know they were dealing with a growing popularity, which might have made them skew their music towards a more generic outcome. It’s still a good CD, but isn’t up to their usual standards.

That all changed with their fourth CD. Not only is Death For Life my favorite DBS CD, but it’s one of my favorite CDs of all time. It is more metal than their previous records, but the production values and song writing are top notch.  

Death Is My Only Friend finds a happy medium between the first four CDs. It has the musicianship I’ve grown accustomed to, but doesn’t sacrifice the fun aspect of the band. All the elements combine for a truly memorable experience. It’s great to see that after a four year layoff, DBS is able to come out with such an impressive CD. 

 

9/10