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Death metal is by far one of the most popular metal genres in Denmark. The legends of the scene like Iniquity, Illdisposed, Dominus, Konkhra, Exmortem, Panzerchrist and Corpus Mortale were in more recent years followed up by equally prolific bands such as Hatesphere, Dawn of Demise and Thorium, and bands like Cerekloth and Undergang have given old school death metal a resurgeance in recent times.
Playing that very style we have another Danish band, which is more or less an allstar lineup. Featuring members from Church Bizarre, Cerekloth, Undergang, Victimizer, Hideous Invasion and apparently also A Kid Hereafter in the Grinding Light the band Deus Otiosus is by no means comprised of newbies, and their heritage from the other bands really shines through on this 2010 debut album. The album "Murderer" is an 8-song showcase of how you write fucking awesome old school death metal without shitty production.
There are catchy riffs aplenty when the primal roar of the first track sets the tone. Immediately Deus Otiosus make it clear what they're about: Death metal like our moms used to make it (well, not really, but you catch my drift) with a twist of thrash and a production that makes the music heavy as fuck but still has plenty of room for crystal clear sound. Only rarely have I heard a debut album with as good a flow as Deus Otiosus' Murderer. I admit it took me more than one listening to get into the album, but when I took the time to really listen I was rewarded with a beyond satisfying listening experience.
Production-wise every is as it should be. Audible and perfectly balanced, the vocals neatly binding it all together in a writhing mass of noxious death. Normally I would say 8 songs is a bit short for a death metal album, but the length of the tracks fully justify the small number of songs as most clock in at more than 5 minutes.
Despite all my praise, there is one thing Murderer lacks. I said there are plenty of catchy riffs, and I stand by that statement, but ultimately the album isn't as memorable as some of the albums that Deus Otiosus have likely listened to. But Murderer is an album that is so masterfully put together, so solid and so deserving of appraisal that I'm forced to give it 80%.
Originally posted on http://gouls-crypt.blogspot.com/
Here is something that really caught me off guard! A band who really knows how to mix to sub-genres together and not fail completely. These guys slaughter Denmark with a sound that resembles that of Obituary and big three German thrash; with some Deicide vocals! Starting around 2005 it would appear that they have released a live album, a demo of course, a split and then finally in 2010 this magnificent bastard.
It is a interesting mix, and the vocals fit their sound better than more thrashy vocals or black vocals would. I say that because their music seems to move slightly slower than other deathrash would. Not that is it boring by any means, but it is more on the death metal side than of course the thrash. That is why the vocals seem more fitting here. Now if they had more Beneath the Remains or Epidemic of Violence riffs (and they should ;) ) the more thrashy vocals would be more fitting. Other than them working for him his vocal patterns and placement are pretty superior to many other bands.
What really ties the knot between death and thrash in this release is the drummer. People seem to drastically underestimate how much one simple drum movement could change the entire riff. Or in sub-sub-genres like this; it could easily change the entire genre of deathrash to just death. There are parts like at 1:52 of "Ye Pigs of Little Faith" and especially at 2:26 of "I Have Seen Him Slay" where the drums really bring out the thrash in the riffs! And then the guitars will come in with a sweet tremolo riff that screams death metal and the double kick will keep it death metal.
This is a very solid release. It is easy to be skeptical of newer deathrash bands, but this is a release that will surprise everyone with its talent! This band has a bright future ahead of them and the next releases will be even better.
Favorite Tracks: I Have Seen Him Slay, Ye Pigs of Little Faith, Ash World
What is initially sickening about Denmark’s Deus Otiosus is how wildly amazing the music is right out of the gate. It was brought to my attention, upon receiving this promo, that it might take a couple of listens to grab the character of the album. All it took for me was one; anything after that was for my own twisted enjoyment. This band is really good at mixing up every metal element in one album without coming off derivative or opaque throughout.
Murderer is a disturbing word (for some, but not for us sinister folk used to such things), but let me tell you the music is in total compliance with the title, diving right into the dark and dirty well water of some abyss and twisting your casual senses into an unrecognizable conglomerate of fleshy meat and blood. This album calls out the death metal heroics of both the early 90’s and modern age, belching out vocals straight from the fathomless depths and shifting shape within each track so perfectly and precisely that I’m smiling here and bobbing my head in total subservience. “Wall of Violence” alone incites feelings of a diseased mind initiating radical and angry change, while “Ye Pigs of Little Faith” has one of the more engaging breakdowns that seems to drive a bass line into your head while continuously battering your back and head with random fists and elbows, rendering you a helpless and lethargic mess. This album has caught my attention in the most sincere way and I’m emphatic in my assertion that this band is one to watch, promote and salute.
When attempting a death/thrash hybrid one must consider all of the scrutiny that comes with a fan base so sick and tired of being promised the necessary ingredients only to have a weak substitute thrown in its place. This is one of the only solid correlations between politics and music, but I digress… What sets Deus Otiosus apart from other bands is simply the lack of polish and the wiped-clean edges of such volatile music. You can actually create a canvas of audio anger, buff it around the perimeter and still maintain a level of strenuous belligerence that won’t lose anything in the translation. While it seems at times that a track might begin to sound like another, the essential breakdowns usually carry the weight of such familiarity and crest right over into the toxicity of death metal at its absolute pinnacle.
The guitar work and drumming are gluttonous fluidity, providing a cemented look at the horrors of a female reworking ala “Whore Limbs”, which won’t bring your cantankerous grandmother out of her cubby hole for dinner with the family but will provide you with a deadly reason to keep her locked away. I’m always amazed at how a band can take some of the most bastardized riffs in history and somehow scrape the fat and find meat still edible for the voracious metal fan that salivates for such an album to pop up now and again. This is that album, and then some. By the time the album ends with the title track you’re still jumbling around the various riffs in your head, trying vainly to figure out which one is the most memorable. That, my friends, is why you listen to it again…and again.
From the top down, Murderer will take your fragile mind and beat it to holy hell; I only hope that you hear the same band doing important and highly credible things within the span 40-minutes and change. The essence of true hatred and disseminated rage is what you’ll experience with this album, so be forewarned of its tenacity and mace-wielding charms.
(Originally written for www.metalpsalter.com)
Murderer might only be the first full-length output from Denmark's Deus Otiosus (Withdrawn God), but the band's members have a fair amount of collective experience in other acts like Cerekloth, Hideous Invasion, and the speed/thrashers Victimizer. If you've heard some of those groups, then you'll know that these gentlemen prefer an old school approach to composition, and Murderer is no exception. This is primitive, riff-based death metal with a slight influence from thrash and hardcore, but the guitars and gutturals have an immense amount of punch to them, and they thankfully avoid the trendy, cavernous crawl-core or the outright Swede worship for something more along the lines of Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, or Unleashed with a few traces of their own countrymen Exmortem and Panzerchrist.
I love my riffs, and fortunately so does this band, because each song throttles the listener with at least a few memorable hooks in between some of the simpler, brickhouse punk explosions that provide the framework for excitement. I do feel that the album is front-loaded with most of its better material. For example, "I Have Seen Him Slay" is a swell starting point that showcases everything this band is about: concrete drumming, efficient leads, and copious guitar tone that pummels the note progressions over the top. "Thousand Arms of the Dead" opens with a gut wrenching, war-thrashing riff, and both its closing moments and the entire following track "Wall of Violence" are exhibitions of double bass driven violence. "Ye Pigs of Little Faith" is also a standout on the album, surging between thick thrash chops and moody, plunking bass sequences as it attempts to draw some atmosphere into what is otherwise a level, straightforward sound.
Later on, though, I found some of the material to waver in quality, if not consistency. "Whore Limbs" is a taut death tune with a good breakdown in the bridge, but I didn't get much out of the track "No Life" outside of the bridge/lead. Nor did I really get into the slower bombastic gait of "Ash World", mighty as it might sound. The title track, with rounds out the album, is decent if forgettable, with some pretty uninteresting riffage in the verse and bridge. Of course, writing in such a straightforward style is pretty difficult, since by this day and age so many of the riffs will always feel as if they've been done before, but Deus Otiosus go some lengths to compensate with the loud, rousing production of the record. In all, this is tight execution of 90s death metal serial killer fundamentals with a brawny energy about it that shows some promise. Not entirely original, perhaps, but they lay on the muscle in their tone and dodge a few of the cliches that are currently in overabundance.
I unfortunately missed Deus Otiosus when they played the Kill-Town death fest last year, I couldn’t make it that day and missed a whole bunch of killer band’s. I wasn’t overly familiar with them, but I had heard a few tracks I liked and thought it’d be cool to see them live. I’ve since familiarized myself with the Danish death metal machine, and can tell you they have something fairly unusual about them.
The unusual part being that the atmosphere is very dark and moody, and it’s created without an ultra-heavy guitar sound, a super low-end bass and a generally dense production. The darkness comes courtesy of the vocals, which are just ultra-haunting. Deep, harsh and raspy growls, with an undertone that makes it sound like it was coming straight from the bottom of an abyss. Musically it’s not as dark, albeit certainly not cheerful. There’s no doubt we’re dealing with old school death metal, but of what style I find a little harder to decide. It’s not typically Scandinavian, North American, South American, whatever. It feels a bit like it’s a little of everything, and with the occasional touch of thrash (Ash world for one has a certain chugging tempo and flair I’d chalk up to thrash, as well as the solo in Wall of violence).
Riff-wise it’s quite solid, but it’s not overly compelling. They have their moments where you can’t help yourself but get dragged in (like for instance the lead 1:30 into Ye pigs of little faith, which also resurfaces later in the song), but most of the time it’s more or less your typical old school riffing. No life is another track with a killer lead, and I can feel my fingers urging me to do some air-guitaring. The same song also has a keyboard present for a short moment, adding a terrific touch to the tune. Someone claimed it to be stolen from some Morbid Angel track, which might be true, I don’t know; but I like it nonetheless.
Murderer has its moments of pure gold, the vocals are killer, the instrumental handling great and the tempo changes are vast, along with that the stark atmosphere. But there’s still something about it that don’t have me completely sold, and mainly I think it’s the speed, or lack thereof. Deus Otiosus is not about blast beats, but I find the overall tempo to be just a little too slow for me, and I keep waiting for it to pick up. Upping the pace in general would give it a more aggressive approach, while still keeping the thrashy chugging bits to give it a more melodic touch. It’s definitely good, but I think they can do better.
Originally written for My Last Chapter