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Cavernous extreme metal - 87%

we hope you die, October 16th, 2019

Dutch death/black metallers Defacement landed suddenly into our lives this year with debut LP ‘Deviant’. Half an hour of unrelating blast-beats and wall to wall riffs. Approximately, this albums sounds like modern Incantation playing black metal. The guitars are meaty and thick, but the structural approach to riffcraft implies a black metal framework, informed by ample dissonance. Cavernous amounts of reverb are applied to all instruments, including the guttural vocals, with lyrics all but superfluous.

This is an undeniably modern approach to extreme metal. One that has taken a very specific technique found in metal of earlier decades and extended the ideas therein to a full length release (just about full length, we’re talking barely half an hour in length). The atmosphere is bleak and single minded, reminiscent of depressive black metal albeit with some production value. However, beneath the relentless blasting there is a logic and structure to the riffs; and therefore a sense of purpose to the music. Drums are able to switch from what feels like constant blasting, to fills that will accent different riffs, and then slow to more of a d-beat which brings up the intensity levels by bringing the percussive pounding to the fore in the mind of the listener.

The album’s modest length is a plus. Although one can easily pick out the death metal riffs when contrasted with the fluidity of the black metal sections, there is an overpowering atmosphere to the whole work that lends it a sense of unity. Like an all too brief glimpse into the most disturbing of nightmares. This is an imposing and abrasive slab of extreme metal and an interesting way to marry disparate styles. At first glance it’s a cacophonous blast of noise, but on repeated listens the diversity of metal traditions informing the pattern of the riffs becomes apparent, and the order beneath the chaos rewards the patient mind.

Originally published at Hate Meditations