Album Review: Siege of Power - This Is Tomorrow
Reviewed by Sam Jones
I remember seeing a the first track off this album being shared as a Single on Facebook a few weeks back, and upon noting how Siege Of Power is an OSDM supergroup, I instantly decided I had to get hold of This Is Tomorrow when I could. Formed in 2013 originally as First Class Elite, the band didn’t go anywhere before finishing a year later, but by 2017 things got going again, renamed themselves to Siege Of Power, released a Single a year later, before unleashing their debut full length release, Warning Blast, unto the metal masses. I admit that is a record that completely passed me by and I never did get round to listening to it, so imagine my pleasure when I see the band suddenly announce their second album under the title of This Is Tomorrow. Bringing together members from multiple considerable old school bands this was a perfect storm of a band for me to get stuck into. Saying I was hyped for this album to begin would be a vast understatement.
Considering Siege Of Power consists of members from Autopsy and Asphyx, I appreciate how the band get straight to the point with their songwriting. There isn’t any unnecessary fluff to be found hiding away throughout their performance. It’s by the numbers death metal crafted by veterans who know precisely how to pull it off. Throw in the fact as well that most tracks here are around three minutes long, and it only furthers the notion that Siege Of Power isn’t some vanity project; rather it’s a passionate and realised effort to just get together and see what music gets created. This is extended to the riffs too; as you’re listening you’ll encounter guitar work that doesn’t seek to throw in anything that doesn’t contribute to the songwriting on the whole. Riffs are chunky and simple, but it ensures Siege Of Power get us right to the crux of their performance without anything seemingly getting in the way.
But while the riffs may be pretty straightforward and do not harbour anything overtly complex, the tone by which they’re performed makes all the difference. Had the guitar tone itself not harnessed such a bold and outlined sound, it’s likely these riffs herein would have barely made much of a dent on our impressions. So, the choice to render their riffs with such density bolsters the band greatly. It’s all the more important the band are veterans at this game too, they understood full well how crucial it was they got the mixing done right, and I reckon they have truly done so. You cannot escape the guitar work because it is so prevalent to the band’s signature sound; it not only props up the rest of the band but enables the tone to be feel accentuated when riffs see to their sound become elongated before the next note or chord comes in. Bottom line: it’s simplicity done effectively, and it’s riffs such as these that will have fans head banging along effortlessly.
Big fans of Autopsy (including myself) will no doubt recognise Chris Reifert on the vocal helm; his snarling yet baritone delivery is unmistakable throughout his own body of work, and the same is no different for Siege Of Power either. Knowing Reifert has been doing vocals for Autopsy since 1987, and with the style of delivery he brings, it makes it especially noteworthy how his performance, in 2023, doesn’t feel to be grating or struggling after so many decades. If anything, his vocal style is offset quite appropriately against the blockier, steadier songwriting that Siege Of Poser offer. We’ve heard him perform vocals throughout faster works so it’s an interesting change of pace to hear Reifert vocalise with a calmer pace behind him. With his vocals and the riff form given here, it establishes the aesthetic of a fist repeatedly pinching you square in the throat. His snarling delivery, especially throughout his longer bellows, pierces through the band’s performance like a knife and the collective expertise of the band guarantees Reifert will be as easily perceived as any guitar riff and lick.
The drums are, more often than not, the speedometer of the band and that can absolutely be said for Siege Of Power too. It’s worth mentioning how these guys are creating old school death metal that lives up to every syllable of its name; there are no blast beats to be found, nor are there any especially extreme techniques being thrown in for the sake of it. These guys understand what fans like and there’s plenty of it for good measure. Due to the pacing of their songwriting, the drums only need to have a steady rate of play, and speed up should the riffs currently present require it. But there are exceptions to this rule; the track “Deeper Wounds”, one of the longest on the record, is a steady thing that doesn’t rush itself by. The drums on this track are unmistakably primitive and help craft a soundscape that is undeniably blackened; it’s one of the more unique aesthetics Siege Of Power throw at us and the drums absolutely contribute in creating that feeling. Had the drums been approached with the intention of total extremity then the strength such a track possesses, would have been extravagantly diminished.
In conclusion, This Is Tomorrow is an excellent slab of old school death metal that manages to not only cement its own identity, but also establish its own sound against the backdrop of greater bands who form its chemistry. Siege Of Power may be a supergroup formed of members from Autopsy, Asphyx, Hail Of Bullets, Thanatos etc but there’s no denying that this is a Siege Of Power record through and through. The retro and stripped back approach these guys have to death metal works wonders for them, seeing as this is the kind of metal their own respective bands found great success in. With a healthy ensemble of slower and faster tracks that keep us guessing what’s coming next, and soundscapes ranging from blistering works to the trudging and visceral works that emulate blackened pieces, Siege Of Power may not have released a new album in five years but longtime fans of their first work will no doubt find much to rejoice over with This Is Tomorrow as well as open new fans’ eyes to their efforts. I’m one of the latter.