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A Crushing Taster of Things to Come - 85%

EclipseInParadise, August 11th, 2009

Defeated Sanity have to be one of the most forward-thinking death metal bands around today. They are technical without the snobbery, brutal without being single-minded and have an altogether fresh take on the brutal death genre.

The three tracks here are all of a very similar style and will hold no surprises for anyone who's heard the band's previous offerings. The music is changeable, with stops and new riffs often coming from nowhere, sometimes to be repeated unexpectedly later. The problem with this approach is that the constant tempo, timing and riff changes can lead the tracks to blend into eachother. Each being somewhat unrecognisable from the rest and lacking that individual character. Equally, this keeps the listening experience interesting. Boredom is always far away! Extended 'slamming' sections break up the technical barrage, helping to give the tracks some individuality, one particularly groovy example impresses at the end of the second track 'Engulfed In Excruciation'. It's also worth pointing out the breakdowns here are not at all generic or predictable, or like those used to excess in deathcore.

The guitar tone here is one of the low points of this cd, one that similarly afflicts their previous album 'Psalms...', and the 2005 promo. The entire mix sounds so compressed that the guitars and bass, whilst being fat and full, become a little indistinct. Despite this, the riffs and odd lead part are still audible. Riffs generally are made up of slow-palm muted chugs and trem- picked lines, interspersed by almost jazzy runs and sweeps around the fretboard. The bassist performs well here, adding something of his own, beyond simply backing the guitar work - something that seems all too rare in death metal generally.

The drumwork here is everything you'd expect from Lille Gruber. Incredibly fast and precise blasts of all kinds, with intricate fills and beats, loaded with gentle dynamics. This style has made him one of the most exciting metal drummers I can think of. Vocals here almost entirely low rumbling gutturals. To be honest they don't really add much to the music, though they certainly don't make the listening experience any worse. That is unless you find this style particularly irritating!

All in all this is an incredibly impressive promo, and will suitably whet the appetite of a fan of their previous works. The material is that bit more complex and interesting than 'Psalms...'. With a more professional production job, better vocals (set to be performed by ex-Disgorge vocalist A.J Magana), the new album will be absolutely crushing!

As a side note, anyone new to Defeated Sanity, would do as well to start here as anywhere. The style, whilst being slightly more advanced, is very much in the same vein as their previous work.