Feast of the Repulsive Dead

Seven Doors

SEVEN DOORS is the brainchild of Englishman Ryan Wills, who plays everything on the album […]
February 27, 2023
Seven Doors - Feast of the Repulsive Dead album cover

SEVEN DOORS is the brainchild of Englishman Ryan Wills, who plays everything on the album with pretty deft acuity.  "Feast of the Repulsive Dead" is the debut full-length from the British death metal band named after the hotel in the 1981 horror film The Beyond. The unholy matrimony of old school death metal and horror films seems like a no-brainer.  It's not hard to picture someone's skull being sheared open with a hacksaw, brains being sucked out with a shop vac and the empty cranial cavity being filled up with the shards of MORBID ANGEL and DEICIDE compact discs.  In spite of those bands' very real commitment to the dark lord, at their hearts it was all just a fascination with horror, really. To be honest, the early proponents of Satanic death metal weren't even as terrifying as some of the more literal poets of early gangsta rap.  While death metal bands were singing about fictional characters in the biggest global con-game in history, people really were getting shot on the streets and dying from crack overdoses. SEVEN DOORS is a celebration of the extremities that early death metal made their rancid stock, dripping in the bright crimson red blood of '70s and '80s Italian horror films.

There is literally nothing ground-breaking on this album.  Every song you've heard a million times before, but Wills does it with such commitment and such dexterity that you can't help but be blown away by the temerity. "The Morbid Mortician" starts with a blackened blast beat, punctuated with clever rolls on the snare and toms, before pulling back and letting the guitars do the work.  The ubiquitous death growl introduces the song as it drops to a mid-tempo beat underneath a histrionic solo, and then Ryan Wills starts vomiting up lyrics about a mortician who seems to be misusing his powers over the dead. What comes as close to a melodic hook as you can get on a record more about squeals and blast beats, Wills repeats the title a few times, before collapsing into a violent, balls-to-the-wall, celebration of blood and guts.  The angular guitar work is adept and clever and really showcases Wills abilities to flat out destroy the paths of the musically righteous.  "I'll Swallow Your Soul" starts with Wills growling "join us" over a militant groove.  The song dabbles in the same structure as "The Morbid Mortician," but it's much more groove-oriented, with a cool harmonized riff over the midsection and a memorable chorus.  Alternating from a thrashy attack to a jump stop and then into a solo, the song has an extended instrumental section, pausing long enough for one last "join us" as it segues into the next song.

"Feast of the Repulsive Dead" is a strong debut from Ryan Wills, and if you're a fan of straight up, no nonsense, well-produced death metal then the album won't disappoint. Death metal operates within some of the most narrow parameters of any genre nestled under the word 'metal,' and SEVEN DOORS isn't pushing any boundaries.  There's some power to that kind of confidence, but in the end the record runs the risk of sounding too monotonous.  It is definitely hard to discern how one song differs from the next, and this is after multiple listens, and focused listening at that.  In some ways, that's the entire point of death metal: it's like being bound to a metal chair under a single 40-watt bulb and being relentlessly beaten with a baseball bat and crowbar for half an hour.  It's supposed to leave you exhausted and confused, glad it's over, but better off because you survived.  SEVEN DOORS takes the comic violence of horror films and the unabated savagery of death metal and mashes them up into one tortuous journey through both.  Listen at your own risk!

6 / 10

Had Potential








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"Feast of the Repulsive Dead" Track-listing:

1. A Quiet Night in the Cemetery
2. Feast of the Repulsive Dead
3. Stalked, Strangled, and Stabbed
4. The Morbid Mortician
5. Welcome Back to Life
6. I'll Swallow Your Soul
7. The Hack Shack
8. Isolated Existence
9. The Graves of Matool
10. Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground
11. Eve of the Apocalypse

Seven Doors Lineup:

Ryan Wills - Everything

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