Defeated Sanity// Passages into Deformity
Rating: 2.5/5.0 — Technically brutal
Label : Willowtip Records
Websites: : facebook.com | bandcamp.com
Release Date: US: 02.05.2013 | EU: ?
Written By: Potato Jim
Brutal death metal and I have never really seen eye to eye. This could either be blamed on the fact that far too many bands in the genre sound like The Pukey Cookie Monster playing to the soundtrack of a dishwasher; or I simply just don’t know enough about the music itself [Here at Angry Metal Guy, our Modus Operandi is to blame everyone else but ourselves. Therefore, it’s the genre, not you. You’ll figure it out with time. – AMG]. German death metallers Defeated Sanity, however, have showcased some technicality in their previous sonic assaults, which I appreciate. The band’s previous album Chapters of Repugnancy was a very fine and enjoyable blend of frenetic bass tom-foolery and very retro-death guitar riffage. In addition to this, the band threw in some subtle ambient interludes, to give the listener a quick break before the next aural assault. This thing though, is a little different. Passages into Deformity tries to be more of a classic late-90s brutal death piece, focusing a little less on precision and more on being a relentless, bloodsoaked monster, intent on painting the walls with your guts!
The first track, “Initiation” is fittingly named, because while brief (clocking in at one minute), it is absolute carnage. Blast beats, deep growls, slamming guitar play and overall feel similar to that of being punched in the face. It comes across as if the band is throwing all it’s punches in this little track, and saying “If you like this, stick around! We’re not stopping until you’re completely deafened.” And they don’t. Track “Verbelndung” is a crushing display of these filthy-sounding slamming riffs, schizophrenically changing from groovy and heavy to break-neck speed. It’s a nice example of a song structure that doesn’t focus on one sound, while simultaneously keeping the listener guessing what they’ll do next. It even finishes off with some dark, murky industrial beats, a nice surprise that cemented it as my favorite track on the album. Another favorite is “Martyrium,” as it stands out from the rest of the album due to some insane drum tricks at the end.
I’m also a fan of the production of the record. The guitar tone is thick and dirty and the tracks don’t sound like they were recorded through a bucket [An uncommon technique at best, young Mr. Potatohead. – AMG]. Better still, it doesn’t sound too sanitized, like many modern death metal bands. The bass is refreshingly high in the mix and Jacob Schmidt is given plenty of time in the spotlight to show off his clearly impressive skills. My only gripe is that the vocals are practically swallowed by everything else going on in each track; but the growls and snarls sound virtually the same in every track, so it isn’t that big of an issue.
The big problem with Passages Into Deformity is that it has little to no memorable moments. Apart from the tracks already mentioned, there isn’t much that particularly stands out. Sure, the momentum is there, and as a whole its consistent in intensity, but I found myself not wanting, but expecting a little more from a band that shows such promise and potential. It’s a shame, because the musicianship itself is stellar, but Passages into Deformity suffers from lackluster songwriting, and it doesn’t offer much to separate itself from the already huge concentration of brutal death metal bands out there.
Overall, Passages into Deformity is a decent enough offering from Defeated Sanity, but unless you’re a metalhead with a PhD in death metal, there doesn’t seem to be much else to see here.