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Stoned, Butchered, Aroused - 95%

Akerfeldt_Fanboi, July 9th, 2012

The sickest Germans have landed again in desperate hope to take the inanity of their debut and quarantine ardent Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh worship, only to replace it with their own style in these, their Psalms.

The clear shift from ultra-static technical death metal to very slam influenced brutal death metal will seem to at first leave a lot to desire. Fortunately, careful listeners will be able to actually decipher the riffs on this album and will even be treated to memorable songs and very intense song structures. Being backed up by the savage intensity of Wolfgang Teske and Christian Kühn and the virtuoso that is Lille Gruber is no matter to be scorned at and the addition of bassist Jacob Schmidt - I mean that literally, you can actually hear him here - only helps to create a full sound of depravity that the album as a whole just exudes.

Now, even with the greatest bands there are faults, and the most obvious one here is gurgler (I refuse to give him the satisfaction in the title of vocalist) Jens Staschel. I'm not one to be affronted by unintelligible burping sounds, but there is little to no variation with these vocals. Luckily he adheres to the slam stylings once more and does have the ability to carry a 'tune' with the rhythm, again adding to the pummeling nature of the album.

But, as I said, the unstoppable fury of Teske and Kühn is totally unmatched. A modern day Levasseur, these two create a dense forest of churning rhythmic suggestions of the most vile concepts imaginable and the resultant sudden stop in the foliage - the slams - is just as horrific. Every second of the oncoming palm muted onslaught is directed straight for the temple and jugular, every moment of barbarity calculated to the not-so-exact science of awesome fucking death metal. The guitar tone only helps to push this work over the edge, with just enough presence of mid and high frequencies and quite the abundance of bass frequencies and not so much blistering distortion to muddy the sound. The brief forays of the band into more experimental chord and song structures - "Butchered Identity" or "Hideously Disembodied" - are only a welcome exercise in brutal riffing rather than technical wankery. Hell, even the very short and blistering solo sections on the album are uber technical but because of the infrequency and abrupt nature of them only help to flavor this wide-reaching sound.

The rhythm section has just as much to do with the outcome of the sound on this album. Jacob Schmidt is a beast on this record, where his licks and pocket grooves are more easily audible than on the debut and bring about enough midrange and clear oomph to stop the guitar sound from being overwhelming. Then Lille Gruber steps in, cracks his knuckles, and begins the mind-bending insanity of each and every drum track on this record. Most drummers in this brand of metal suffer from over-indulgence, but for once this kind of calf-searing drumming only furthers the maniacal aspect of the bands music. I could go on for ages about every part of the subtle cymbal work going on in "Engorged With Humiliation" or the overall sense for accents hi-hat tapping and sizzling in fucking death metal, but I will not. All I will say is that this is the perfect drum tone all around - powerfully cracking snare, thick but not muddy bass drums, and clear as all hell cymbals.

But to simply waltz around the production is madness, for these crazy Germans have taken their original tracks and created about them an atmosphere that has been lost to most death metal, not to mention the brutal variety, for so long. That is to stay, there actually is an atmosphere, and a very oppressive one it is. I can't take my ears off of it sometimes and leaving the 29 minutes of aggression behind is like leaving your friends and family, it's actually quite touching. Then you remember that you were just listening to one of the most brutal albums ever conceived and just spin it again.

Pros:

+ Riffs exist in the Defeated Sanity concept, something missing from modern BDM
+ Varied song structures with unique motifs and development
+ The varied nature leaves every slam, solo, and tremolo riff as a memorable moment
+ Bass work that does follow the leader when necessary, but is very out in the open
+ Flo Mounier Mk. II is sitting on the drumkit; in equal parts skill, style, and sound
+ Dark, tremendous atmosphere reminds of Immolation's Here In After

Cons:

- Jens Staschel not doing anything but a squeal or gurgle for 30 minutes

If there was an album to buy, this would be it. Call it a desert island death metal album or just really fucking cool, I don't care just buy the thing.