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Summon At Your Own Risk - 93%

maelstrom0vhate, February 12th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, CDN Records

There's nothing like getting an album in your inbox by some random promo company, encouraging you to review some band you never heard of, only to discover that, after 35.6 seconds into the album, you've litterally opened a fucking portal to the darkest regions of Hell. I swear, this is no joke. I got all sorts of demons ransacking my cupboards for virgin flesh, baby fat, and Keurig coffee as I type. Now, step into my goddamn Deformatory...

From what I gathered from the promo, Deformatory is a 4-piece "brutal technical death metal" (ugh, I know) band from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. This is their second album, and it's entitled Malediction. The cover art is gnarly as hell, and was designed by none other than Jon Zig. So far, I am unimpressed. Everything about this band screams 'typical', for brutal tech death, I suppose. Surprisingly, their band photo only has one long-haired member, and it does not appear they took the picture in a cemetery. Gotta deduct some bro0otal points from them on that one! The album starts off with a Diablo quote (bro0otal points restored, fine sirs), and then it hits me: Holy fuck, this is intense. My balls shriveled up a little more than usual, and I realized I was sitting motionless, and completely surprised by what I was hearing coming out of my headphones. All jokes aside, this is some seriously good brutal tech death.

The production on the album is pretty standard for this genre; triggered bass drum, inaudible bass, crunchy guitars - but well-balanced, clear, and dare I say, not overproduced. I even wondered at times if these guys even recorded to a click-track (extra bro0otal points if they didn't, by the way). You can pick out almost every instrument, but I do wish that the guitars were a little louder. The vocalist (who is also one of the guitar players) is the epitome of brutal. I'm pretty sure Glen Benton gave birth to a veritable Caco-Spawn here. From a production standpoint, you won't be disappointed. It's on-par with all of the big names, and I was surprised to hear these guys were signed to some unknown label (CDN Records). I hope that changes for them quick.

As far as songwritng goes, they do a really good job of writing technical parts, and writing solid catchy parts. For a brutal tech death album, there a TON of catchy riffs that will get stuck in your head. A good amount of unconventional guitar solos, and for once, no inordinate amount of arppeggiated sweep-licks. Each song has its own vibe, and the flow of the overall album goes really well. They added a bit of a break on track 5 - A Hideous Veneration - with a slower intro. I must admit, this was a much-needed break from the relentless intensity of the last 4 songs. The one thing I want to note about the songs themselves is that there's actual fucking emotion here. I mean, it's not clinical sounding, and I don't feel like these guys are faking the evil demonic shit they aimed for with the theme, art, and direction. I mean, those demons are still roaming my place, man! There's some serious creepy, hateful, evil energy that comes through on some of these songs and it's no something you commonly find on modern tech death releases. Their death metal-era Morbid Angel influence is definitely recognizable, and I have to give these Canucks mad props for bring this vibe to such a saturated genre.

Lyrically, they went with a concept album based on the ultimate source of pure evil - Savael. Savael is apparently the demon who possessed the angel Lucifer in heaven and got him all sorts of negative publicity. The album story focuses on the re-awakening of Savael by means of an incantation text, the rise of Savael, the death and destruction of all things holy, and the takeover of planet earth in a violent whirlwind of brutality. The lyrics are actually pretty clever when you read them, and it's not as generic as it sounds. There's a decent amount of depth to the lyrics themselves, and tons of creativity. In track 7, Oracles of Perdition, there's some made-up language tossed in there for good measure. I've always respected bands for getting creative with their music, and having fun with it.

The only real negatives on this album is some of the balance of instruments from a production point of view, and some predictability from a song-writing perspective. The latter is not really a negative in any other genre other than brutal technical death metal, but I feel like I needed to add another negative for the sake of a balanced review. So, fuck you. The album is done in under 40 minutes, and you don't even mind that you've summoned some of Hell's most sinister entities. The last two tracks (Oracles of Perdition and Aphotic Existence - which, by the fucking way, are killer song titles) bleed into one another for one massive nightmarish experience. The end solo on Oralces is ejaculation worthy, and the riffs - my dear Satan, the riffs - on Aphotic Existence will fuck your neck up.


This is an album that I would have easily dismissed had it not been sent to me directly by their promotion company, and I urge you not to dismiss it. The album just came out on February 5, 2016, so it's too early to call it underrated, but it's a massive album that took me by surprise. If you're a fan of the brutal tech death genre, or want to up your death metal game in general, do it with this album. It's fast, it's heavy, it's catchy, and you get free demons with every spin of the record.