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Fresh and Infectious Grooves - 95%

Geoffy, August 17th, 2014

So Demented Ted is another one of those one-off '90s death metal bands hailing from Chicago. They were around between '86 to '94, a year after this album was released because of apparent disinterest in the music and decided to go in a different direction altogether, hence Beyond and ultimately Honey, though Mark Kolar is now in Kommandant, which is a fantastic band in its own right.

Onto the material at hand, they play a style of music that can be reminiscent of mid-era Death and mid-era Carcass, having that progressive edge, but they also add groove in their music for good measure and it actually fit well. It tends to not fit too well because a lot of prog death that incorporates groove just don't do it well and it becomes a mess, but Demented Ted found that perfect balance and it's executed well.

The guitar tone is crisp and you can hear every note, but it also isn't annoyingly squeaky clean. The bass is incredibly audible and it does its own thing a lot of the time and you just hear it clunk along to the music. The drumming itself switches up plenty, adding further variety to the riffing that shifts tempo semi-frequently. The soloing also blends into the music in a way that, while it doesn't make you focus on the solo itself, it doesn't ruin the music behind it. It flows well, flowing much like how the album art looks, which looks like an underwater setting. On the topic of underwater, the vocals are similar to Jeff Walker's on Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious, only a bit deeper and it sounds like the vocalist is submerged underwater, especially on Liquid Remains.

All the songs are fan-fucking-tastic, but some highlights are Psychopathology, Incisions, the aforementioned Liquid Remains, and Forgotten. In Psychopathology, the riffing at the beginning already has that catchy groove that just flows along and hooks you, then the drums and bass come along and the rhythm is just fantastic. Closer to the end, where it goes:

"I will lead, you will follow
I will bleed, you will swallow"

...is just so infectious and it makes me want to growl along with the song. The riffs on Incisions are just incredibly bouncy and energetic, especially the the first 30 seconds, which is always a breath of fresh air. The riffs on the entire album are just so bouncy, fresh, and catchy. The solo on Liquid Remains is incredibly melodic and flowing while the riffs throughout just bounce and you'd just want to jump up and down to the tempo.

Overall, this is an incredibly strong and underrated album that more people should give a chance because it's just a smorgasbord of great riffs, fat grooves, and a tasteful progressive edge that is something you just want sink your teeth into. It's definitely a band I'd recommend to friends who want more slabs of death metal to check out. Shame they lost interest in this style because it could have taken off with a little more refinement, although this was already a strong debut as is. Oh well, at least it's better than nothing.