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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!