Brutal Death Metal
Full-length, Willowtip Records
May 4th, 2010
A.J. Magana - Vocals
Christian Kühn - Guitar
Jacob Schmidt - Bass
Lille Gruber - Drums
The CD was recorded at Soundforge Studios in Berlin.
Cover artwork by Toshihiro Egawa.
|2.||Consumed by Repugnance||03:46||[view lyrics]|
|3.||Carnal Deliverance||03:08||[view lyrics]|
|4.||Salacious Affinity||03:55||[view lyrics]|
|5.||Engulfed in Excruciation||03:27||[view lyrics]|
|6.||Coerced into Idolatry||04:15||[view lyrics]|
|7.||Blissfully Exsanguinated||03:16||[view lyrics]|
|8.||Calculated Barbarity||02:42||[view lyrics]|
|9.||Lurid Assimilation||04:21||[view lyrics]|
|Total playing time||31:51|
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"Elite Death Metal"
"With this, their latest album, Defeated Sanity have secured their place in the death metal Hall of Fame. I always said that I would never rate an album at 0 or 100, but anything other than full marks here will just not do. There are a few criticisms I have but they seem so insignificant when compared with the unrestrained genius clear from start to finish on this album. Since getting this a couple of weeks ago it's been played at least two or three times a day and I don't foresee stopping it anytime soon. So then, let me start from the beginning...
Defeated Sanity are a band I've known of and followed for years. I've seen them live many times and shared the stage with them on more than a couple of occasions. I always thought they were something of a cutting edge band that never seemed to quite meet their potential. Last summer though, the set they played at the Mountains of Death festival - the first time I'd seen them as a four-piece - was one of the most overwhelmingly impressive musical performances I've witnessed, of ANY genre, and I wasn't alone in thinking that. After witnessing such an onslaught, I just knew this would be the album that they'd finally get that potential onto disc.
The album begins with the track 'Introitus', with guitar, drums and dark atmospheric sounds gradually fading in over the first minute. This develops into a sequence of mid-paced chugging, thrashy technical riffs which in turn drop into the first 'slam' or breakdown of the album. Let me first dispel any ideas of this band playing anything remotely boring, predictable in their slam sections. This band just doesn't 'do' boring or predictable.
Most of the riffs involve the expected heavily palm muted chords, trem picking and pinch harmonics but riffs appear from nowhere, some slow, some fast, some where in between. Jazzy flourishes instantly set this band apart from the rest of the brutal crowd and tempo changes occur every few bars in some parts. The arrangements are so deliciously insane, but they craft it all so it still makes perfect sense. Once the album is underway there are only a handful of distinctive moments which I can describe and condense into a review worth reading. However, one I'll attempt to describe is found towards the end of the second track 'Consumed By Repugnance'. The guitars suddenly drop out with the bass and drums left to play a technical off-kilter jazz-like groove, unlike anything yet heard in death metal. The drums then play a suitably jazzy fill alone to round things off, before everything literally slams back in with a relatively simple, brutal palm-muted section. The track ends with further relentless technical barrage. I hope that suitably conveys some of the craziness and greatness of the album, but I am struggling to really describe how good this really is and why.
The instrumental performance on this album more or less flawless. The guitar work is very tight, and considering how technical this stuff is, that's no simple task. So far I've not mentioned much about the bass, and that's also just about flawless. Most of the time the bass follows the guitars, and that alone is impressive enough, occasionally playing 'lead' parts. The playing is impressive and well suited throughout. Lille Gruber's drumming on this album has reached new heights. It's still the usual mix of blasts, gravity rolls and odd fills but it's just tighter, faster and even more jazzy than before. There really is no one now who can touch him in terms of inventiveness and being able to add something extra to the riffs. The vocals are much better than on the previous albums, being performed by A.J Magana, previously of Disgorge. His vocals are powerful gutturals throughout the album. Still though, I think the vocals could be better. Sometimes they aren't perfectly tight, they're too high in the mix for me and they're recorded on different tracks which are all panned differently. This means certain words or lines come in from the left or right and when there are a few track of vocals on the go at once they dominate the mix further. It's just a minor criticism really, the vocal performance is largely excellent, but this is about all I can find to criticize.
The production on this album is the main reason why I think it is a vast improvement on the previous albums. It's very clear and allows all the instruments to be heard well, but it's very dark and doesn't sound at all overproduced. They really managed to capture their crushing live performance It's almost perfectly in between the rough and overproduced sounds that plague most current brutal death metal. The guitar tone is good but lacks a little clarity at times. I know this tone was intentional but I'd prefer something slightly crisper than this.
In relation to their other albums, this is if anything a bit simpler. The technicality is still there, it's just broken up more with more extended slam sections. If you're looking for a short review of the album all I can say is this is simply THE technical and brutal death metal album of the new millennium. It's dark, brutal, incredibly technical death metal. I look forward to theirs and other's attempts to do better."