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Finally, an accurate assessment of this band... - 94%

trieffiewiles, February 17th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Hells Headbangers Records

That does it. I usually only rate things that’ve not been reviewed here yet. However, I am utterly sick of one-sided reviews from those who seem to honestly believe they know what Deiphago are trying to do, but really don’t. So here is my single drop of volatile truth to contaminate and eradicate the lies like a microscopic scrap of ebola can devastate an entire population.

Of the reviews I’ve read, one of the only favorable for Into the Eye of Satan came from Crucial Blast. In the review, their style was referred to as ‘chaos metal’ and likened in terms of intensity and effect to an IED detonation. Let’s just get this out of the way, this album is a far better effort than anything by these numerous fat cookie-cutter Wal-Mart valets-by-day trying desperately to dress like storm troopers in their promos and trying desperately to sound like Black Witchery, whether you accept this or not, it doesn’t matter.

Anyway, when I read this, I thought ‘damn, finally someone who gets it’. I’ve said it before and I’ll undoubtedly say this again. To those who are chronically addicted to a single endangered meme and allergic to all others like these NS kiddies, or anyone who listens to just a single genre of anything. War in inevitable, it is true. I am by ‘no’ means any utopian liberal either. That being said, while war is inevitable, it favors no side at all. It burns, mutates, and transforms all within its sphere of influence, some simply in a different manner than others. There’s no such thing as no wars, but there’s no such thing as an idealized eden centered around a single static meme arising from the aftermath of war either. If you honestly believe in either of these things and yet also like extreme metal, then your existence has little in the way of integrity, for while you might claim to champion chaos, you clearly don’t know anything of its more interior nature.

Well, that’s not a weakness Deiphago share. No, their blastbeats aren’t weird and aimless and self-indulgent. Their blastbeats are fucking awakened to a broader reality. The percussion doesn’t shift erratically in nature because they’re trying to impress National Public Radio. No, the dynamics are given to drastic shifts because these fucking musicians wisely acknowledge the influence, whether subtle or immediate, of outward spheres and hidden forces. Think about it hayseed, just because you can’t see wind doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Let’s see your tough TapOut shirt save you from a damn hurricane. Just because all you can see of the even greater solar wind from the earth’s surface are pretty auroras, don’t think they’re there to stroke your egos. Even with all their gear, astronauts have to hide in their ships whenever a strong solar wind comes, lest their cells fry on a skillet.

Same thing with the percussionist. He doesn’t struggle against these titanic forces while trying to maintain some warm fuzzy family-friendly musical ideal. He flows with that inhuman shit ever further down the rabbit hole, branching off in myriad paths like the thousand branching arms of the Amazon river. Even while taking these matters into consideration, he still effortlessly wields the focus necessary to blast faster and more bludgeoningly than all these other damn Blasphemy clones.

Those guitar solos, fuck, where do I even start. You know, I usually can’t stand guitar solos in metal. They typically detract from any feverishness or frenzy that other musical components are able to generate. In most cases the soloing either reeks of obvious attempts at overcompensation or otherwise adheres to sterile styles and irrelevant traditions. In light of all this however, I challenge anyone to cite an example of anything typically defined as ‘overcompensating’, or ‘sterile’, or ‘traditional’ that would bare any even faintly remote semblance to Sidpa’s soloing.

How his notes arise and fall in unpredictable manner. How they erupt from nothing like a sudden bloom of larvae from a bloated shred of roadkill the size of this universe. They’ve all the flux of diverse materials dissolved into a cauldron of magma in the bowels of the inner earth that gradually burrow their way through their terrestrial prison over the course of eons only to explode into a radically different state at hypersonic speeds immediately upon reaching the surface. Nothing about that description is synonymous with decadence. By contrast, all these other boring metal bands milking the same corny Mercyful Fate-styled solos again and again and again, for decades on end, are the very definition of decadence and arrested development.

The vocals are among the best in my opinion. Never heard him live, but in the recordings they’re terrific. V. 666’s voice is utterly venomous and energetic. Not in the manner of those trying to prove themselves either. He has nothing to prove, he’s already there. His voice drips with intent, drips with blight. In keeping with their esoterically-inspired thematics, his voice seems to be representative of the Samael, the venom of creation itself, which blights all things alike. Once touched by the Samael, one can either cling to their doomed ideals and subsequently suffer an insidious death or they can accept the reality of mutation and transform in any number ways in order to adapt to this terrifying consort. These are not black and white terms, for how one transforms in order to adapt to the venom hinted at in V’s voice, is not bound by orthodoxy. Its simply a matter of accepting the reality of chaos, and Deiphago are fucking chaos metal.

Humans can commonly be described as fairly decadent creatures, terminally addicted to familiarity as they are. Clearly the common obsession with the traditional human-form is but another manifestation of this symptom of no mere meme but a deeply-seated fear of all things unknown. Apparently, the most abundant metal in the human body is iron. Just the same, apparently that abundance can be accounted for by a mere 3 to 4 grams in your average adult. The rest of its just tainted water, nothing one can’t find pooling all over the earth’s surface. Taking these things into consideration, it is a fairly straightforward notion to conclude that real metal music is the enemy of all humanity, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is ‘not’ music to dance to, to impress a date with, or to feel socially empowered to the tune of. Do you think the sun would stop burning furiously if you have a bad hair day, if your girlfriend leaves you, if your bullshit candidate doesn’t win some bullshit election? No, primal fire doesn’t give a fuck about you or your false creations, it is bigger than you or any of that bullshit, and it is unto this true power that Deiphago looks for inspiration, and it fucking shows. This is a soundtrack to a Kali-like figure perched atop a mountain of slain makeshift ego-mannequins, whilst yet more well-dressed puppets rush forth into the fray in a useless bid to save their precious trend from obliteration, only to meet a similar fate. Certainly Deiphago don’t require my help as they’ve already proven they don’t need peoples’ widespread approval to continue making music and expanding their repertoire of aural weaponry, however a single favorable review will hardly hinder them either.

Red Dragon Crush - 60%

TheStormIRide, August 2nd, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Hells Headbangers Records

Deiphago is the epitome of that archetypical southeast Asian barbaric black/death metal sound. While the band’s debut, Satanik Eon, didn’t drop until 2006, the band has been destroying the underground since forming in 1989. Originally from the Philippines, Deiphago released a handful of demos before relocating to Costa Rica in the early 2000′s. The band has been releasing a steady barrage of material since the move, with 2015′s Into the Eye of Satan being their fourth full length.

Deiphago’s material could never be accused of being easy listening, as the band is purposefully chaotic and disjointed, and Into the Eye of Satan continues that. Produced, mixed and mastered by Colin Marston, the album’s production is roughshod, even by barbaric war metal standards, and the sound is suffocatingly dense. The music sounds more like a wall of pummeling sound than before, opting for a nonstop of barrage of crushingly heavy steamrolling. The drums are an endless onslaught of blasts and frenetic fills while the guitars are thick and swirling. There are some extremely solid and crushing riffs throughout, but you need wade through fifty layers of muck and noise to center on them. This lack of focus isn’t exactly fatal to the formula, but it requires a keen ear to work around the rumble.

Into the Eye of Satan shows Deiphago at their heaviest and most chaotic, which is quite a feat given the band’s back catalog. Unfortunately, the heavy handed production takes away the intensity of the riffs, the sharpness of the fills and the vitriolic edge of the vocals. It sounds like a giant lump of heavy sounds without much distinction between instruments. Every note, riff, shout and beat is layered with a thick slab of reverb laden noise. Really, the only thing that seems to rise above the murk are the flailing lead guitars, which sound improvised and unrehearsed, at best. Into the Eye of Satan ends up being one of those albums that begins to buckle under the weight of its own heaviness, never really reaching the destructive peak it shoots for.

It’s unfortunate that the production is so rough here. I understand that bands dabbling in the primal and barbaric brand of black/death metal usually don’t opt for clean and streamlined sounds, but this is way too over the top. Even some of the most notoriously (purposely) roughshod production jobs allow the listener some type of handhold to hang on by. The sad part is that this is some of Deiphago’s most solid work to date and with a proper production job it would be utterly devastating, in that primordial kind of way that Deiphago usually nails. The music is pretty damn solid, but it’s marred by one of the worst productions jobs I’ve heard in recent years.

Written for The Metal Observer.