Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

House of Death “Bienvenido a la Casa de la Muerte”: Przesterlove

You remember Juan Carlos Cano, the winner of the fourth edition of “The Voice of Poland”? If you haven’t heard it yet, the musician has been the group’s vocalist for several years House of Death – a band founded by Adam Bielczuk, which is an unofficial continuator of the work of Anti Tank Nun. Since his debut as a character “Midnight Special” However, in 2019, there were some changes in the band – Titus left the group, playing the role of bassist, and his place was taken by Tomasz Skuza (Skaya), known from Quo Vadis. In addition, the House of Death lineup was complemented by a second guitarist, Jarek Chilkiewicz.

Now that the personnel changes are behind us, it’s time to focus on music. Although the intro is in character “High Noon” with basement synthesizers may announce an album oscillating around death metal, but it quickly turns out that we are again dealing with high-octane distortion playing. While previously I immediately associated them with bands like Alter Bridge, on the second House of Death album they surprisingly often turn towards thrash metal.

It’s really good, because it’s hard not to appreciate the numerous moments that seem to be somewhere halfway between the best moments of Metallica and Slayer. The drums are racing madly, the distortion from the guitars is pounding through your kidneys. At least in the second one on the album “Into The Fire”, where at some point we even enter slipknot areas. It’s impossible to underestimate how wonderfully elaborate it turns out to be “Bleed The Leech” and how many metal styles he covers in the meantime.

Most importantly, when testing the strength of their amplifiers, House of Death do not forget that this type of playing should also be a lot of fun. Obviously, there is no room for discovery here, because House of Death is rather one great tribute to guitar playing. The most important thing is something else. The riffs are perfectly written and instantly memorable (“Roaches” – wow). Hence, this album is full of power, surprisingly youthful energy, feistyness and – how wonderful it sounds – passion.

We cannot forget how much of this is due to the incredible efficiency of Juan Carlos Cano. He has an incredibly wide vocal range and plays with it in such a way that there is never a moment of boredom. It will delight the listener with the fact that it sings so cleanly that it immediately removes all the mud remembering the Woodstock contortions. This is a singer who at one moment climbs to the heights as if he listened to a lot of Guns N’ Roses in his youth, then wheezes behind the microphone as if he was possessed by the spirit of Lemmy Kilmister, and then descends so low, throatily, that Nick Cave would be proud of him , and finally throws a falsetto that brings to mind Maynard. There’s a lot going on here, but it never allows the listener to be overstimulated. It’s a huge art.

The problem with House of Death begins when the musicians slow down for more than a few moments. Because moments like breathing in “The Reckoning” are undoubtedly needed. However, it’s already single “Ash Caravan” with guest appearance by Jan Borysewicz, has perhaps something of Kyuss or Alice in Chains in it, offers an unfolding number with an instrumental narrative, but ultimately leaves the listener with a sense of interruption, as if it was only announcing the final culmination. It’s definitely the lightest thing on the album, the most accessible to the average Kowalski, but it’s far from the heights of this album.

Speaking of weaker moments: metal cover “El Mariachi” is as technically impressive as it is completely unnecessary. However, I would prefer that musicians direct all this energy towards their own compositions. These two songs and the completely unnecessary intro are basically the moments that scratch the surface of the album that tickles my guitar sentiments. Because it’s a really great album, which will certainly be a huge problem for all those who wrongly believe that rock is dead in Poland.

House of Death, “Bienvenido a la Casa de la Muerte”, ed. own