Port Elizabeth, South Africa: a new wall of moving air rises from the “Windy City” today as Dead Man Risen reveals his latest work, Petrichor. This time the movement is from speakers with volume turned high!
Petrichor: the smell of rain after a protracted spell of dry
For fans of a darker, more simplistic approach to musical expression, this album title describes itself exactly! Petrichor is nothing if not an exhilarating assault on the senses. It’s fresh, where our current landscape is cluttered with projects all aspiring for brutality and complexity; Dead Man Risen takes a step back from the clamour and follows a completely different path.
The only aspect of Petrichor which seems to indulge current dominant trends in heavy music is the presence of some electronic elements; however, being more reminiscent of 90’s grit-goth/industrial sensibilities instead of the more electro-esque elements prevalent in metal today. The greater portion of output otherwise leans towards good old Melodic Death Metal; some riffs and passages reminiscent of Scandinavian giants Dark Tranquility, or even Insomnium; others veering off to even darker pastures, evoking ideas of Death Doomsters such as Saturnus or Novembers Doom.
Creative processes, and deviations…
Of course, M4A watches closely, and we’ve noticed some shifts since Dead Man Risen‘s debut album, Vampyre, released in July 2017. In particular, a finer attention to detail in production goes a long way in raising the bar for Petrichor.
“After the first album, I got a lot of feedback which allowed me to rethink my approach to writing and actually take my time getting things as close to perfect as possible. Still a lot that I can improve on, but that’s what’s great about bringing out a new album. You get the opportunity to show your supporters that you listened and learnt from your mistakes.” ~ Shaun Mitchell (vocals/multi-instrumentalist, Dead Man Risen)
Another noted shift is found in the lyrical content.
“Yeah. The first album was more of a horror theme. This one is about nature and Mother Earth being fed up with the ignorance and cruelty of human kind. Retaliating in a wrathful and brutal, yet beautiful way. Beautiful chaos, you could say. Some horror themes still present here and there, like with Possession and The Prince of Tribulation.” ~ Shaun Mitchell
No man is an island
Whilst Shaun operates almost entirely as a one-man project, his previous project included a collaboration with none other than his own wife, Tricia. He concedes that the current project follows a similar pattern in this regard:
“The song itself, ‘Petrichor’ lyrics were written by my wife who is a great writer and poet. Sometimes I ask her for help when I have writers block.” ~ Shaun Mitchell
In a way, we feel that this merely amplifies the sincerity and depth of the project as a personal conduit for artistic and emotional expression. We look forward greatly to a third album and, Odin willing, many beyond.
The album cover for Petrichor is the work of local artist, Alastair Tilley. Recording and production is the work of Shaun Mitchell entirely.