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Forgettable - 50%

Death_Thrasher, June 20th, 2011

Defiled are among Japan's longest-running extreme metal bands, having started in the early '90s when death metal's popularity was at a peak. However, this debut album was not actually released until 1999; and, upon listening to it, one can't help but wonder why it took so long.

'Erupted Wrath' cannot be faulted technically. The playing of Yosuke Sumita and company is precise, powerful and well-produced. Recorded at Morrisound, the album has a very 'classic' sounding production, close to late-90's Deicide (or any other death metal release from that period, for that matter). The material itself is typical blast-heavy death metal with good, old-school vocals, reminiscent of a less deranged Malevolent Creation. Choppy time changes recall Deicide (again!)'s earlier, crazier years or a less crushing Suffocation. You'll notice I'm dropping a lot of comparisons to other bands: there is a distinct lack of originality on 'Erupted Wrath', and throughout its duration the listener is more than likely to be making these comparisons him/herself. They put little to no 'stamp' on this material, and anyone who has been listening to death metal for even a couple of years has probably heard this all before.

Of course, a lack of originality is not necessarily a bad thing, as the incestuous death metal scene is full of Cannibal Corpse/Obituary/Death clones doing perfectly fine for themselves and putting out enjoyable albums. The problem with 'Erupted Wrath' is that it is not only unoriginal, it is also unmemorable. I have played this album over and over, but I still can't get a single song, riff or scream (bar the rather abrupt guest appearance of George Fischer on the final track) to stay with me for any given length of time.

This is not a terrible album. It is not even a bad album. It is a kebab on a drunken night out: pleasant enough at the time, but you've forgotten about it the moment it's over.