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Yeah, it must be Christmas as if not being contempt with listening to (and reviewing) one Deranged album, I’m now doing it for the second time. This time the victim is “High On Blood”, Deranged’s second album, and to me my favourite. Although “Plainfield Cemetery” is really close in the balance with this one, I’ve always favoured their earlier work. And out of the mediocrity that was their first album and the so-so that was the third, came this unrelenting beast! Now with a band called Deranged, an album titled “High On Blood” and the given cover art, can you not smile and say “bring it on!”? All of this reeks of sheer brutality.
If you’re taking this backwards as me, as I’m listening and reviewing them backwards (chronologically speaking), then you’ll immediately notice some differences from the get go. First the sound isn’t as thick as in “Plainfield Cemetery”, which doesn’t mean it’s worst. Strangely it makes the music sound a bit better as there’s more space for the instruments to show themselves, mainly the bass that isn’t so buried under the distortion of the guitars, and is more audible. It keeps on shinning better in the slower parts, but it’s much more noticeable on this album than on “Plainfield Cemetery”. Also the guitars have more room to breathe, they’re still heavily distorted but they do shine a bit more on the lead department, and more so in the riff department where the boys have really tried to make a very diverse album.
One fundamental aspect of this album is that it’s way more consistent than both earlier and later efforts from the band. Where other albums have some good songs mixed with some mindless brutal filler, here every song obeys to a standard of quality. There’s hardly filler in this album as song after song, riff after riff you’ll have your head banging like crazy, trying to understand how these guys made such a good album followed by such mediocre efforts, the exception being the aforementioned “Plainfield Cemetery”. The quality per song is very high but some songs have to be mentioned as the opener “Razor Divine” and “Nailed Ejaculation” with their catchy choruses, “(Eroti)kill”, “Robber Of Life” and “Haunted By Natural Danger” with their crazy leads, and certainly the best song around, “By Knife…” which just rips you in half!
There isn’t much more to say about this album, other than the high points of “Plainfield Cemetery” are the standard here. While some will prefer the thicker production on the later album, this one has much better songwriting and better riffs. As I said before the rawer production allows the instruments to have some more space to breathe in the mix, leaving you with a wider perception of what’s happening. Believe me that it doesn’t deter the brutality by a bit, as the album is always on overdrive speed, almost never slowing down.
In a nutshell, Deranged’s best work, a bit better than “Plainfield Cemetery” and with a bit more replaying value, although I’d recommend getting both eventually. I still prefer this one and it’s probably the best place to begin with the band. If you want some brutality in your life look no further, just bring something on with you to clean all the blood!
Though they split up last year, Deranged has left us quite a legacy of brutal Swedish death metal with that insane, ripping guitar tone. High on Blood is their 2nd album, some consider it their best. Though I prefer their 5th album Plainfield Cemetery, it's difficult to deny the incredible onslaught here.
"Razor Divine" generates threat with its relentless battery, incorporating that incredible Swedish tone with the brutality of the USDM scene, lots of chugs and squeals that never become dull as the band continues to rip forward with charge riff after charge riff. There is no letting up into "Humanity Feeds on Filth", and there are a host of other great brutal numbers like "Robber of Life" and "With the Silence Came Horror". The album is quite consistent across 11 tracks, but it should be important to note that this isn't so much a band that gets by on catchy melodies like other Swedish bands. The focus here is the brutality and velocity with which each track carves through the listener's flesh.
A murderous affair indeed, an example of one of those great 90s European death metal efforts that is sadly overlooked in such a densely crowded genre. If you enjoy Swedish death metal with a US influence, listen no further.
Deranged was until recently an unknown band to me but after hearing this I decided that just had to change. Everything about this is top notch. The musicians are really talneted and the music kicks major amount of ass. It´s Brutal, technical and heavy as hell but it also features some of deicide´s catchiness and it never becomes boring or repetitive. My neck just keeps rocking back and forth and sometimes I can´t stop myself from screaming along. The instruments are handled with a punishing precicion and accuracy that makes me think of Vomitory which by the way is the first band I came to think about when I heard this (altough I consider Deranged an even better band). Not a single one of the eleven tracks could be accused of being a filler but of course there´s songs that stand out. A few of them is Eroti(kill), By knife, Robber of life and Humanity feeds on filth. This could very well be one of the best death metal records I have ever had the pleasure of hearing and it should be a part of every death metal collection. Buy or die!!