Taking the sense of drama straight from a Wednesday 13 script and adding a touch of brute force are Manchester’s The Dead XIII. Many have tried the scary heavy shit route but this band tick more boxes than most by tempering the bludgeoning with a bit of synth and a seriously smart arse production. Dark Days has the feel that it could be Combichrist’s angry cousin and has the production to back that vibe up. It’s actually astonishing to think that this is an album from an unsigned band. What you have to ask are the labels listening to, and how did they miss these guys? There are a few imperfections, the anthemic title track is followed by ‘Last Stand’ which downshifts through too many gears throwing you off balance which is quite unsettling. Elsewhere though all is most certainly very well. Great hooks, menacing vocals and rhythm aplenty Dark Days has a sound that proves the future of metal is in safe hands.