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DTG I: "I guess it sounds like guitars sometimes" - 84%

MutantClannfear, December 18th, 2013

This release is around the place most people get their introduction to Disfiguring the Goddess - all the demos released before this are so ambiguous that it's damn near possible to tell if they were even officially released or not. I suppose that's fitting enough, as this is essentially the perfect place to start with Disfiguring the Goddess's vast and oftentimes confusing discography; it's got a lot of the project's "hits", so to speak, and it's not too far disconnected from the more recent material. On top of that, it was the first thing I heard from the project at the ripe, young age of 13, so in a way this is one of maybe a handful of bands that I've gotten to actually watch grow up alongside me. While nostalgia is inevitably going to smudge my perception of this at least a little bit, the bottom line is that this is some pretty cool shit.

It's really kind of impressive that Disfiguring the Goddess managed to stumbled upon an entirely new sound this late into the DM game. It's much to my dismay that the band get tossed into the "generic deathcore" pile as a sort of dismissive method, but when you hear the band you have to admit that there's really nothing else out there like this. The music is an odd mish-mash of styles that ends up tiptoeing somewhere within the general area of deathcore and brutal death metal, and yet doesn't really embody either. It sounds similar to brutal death metal at times, but there aren't really sections here that you could call slams either. There are breakdown-like parts that should sound like deathcore à la early Suicide Silence, but don't; this is partially because the music settles into grooves you would never expect from a deathcore band and partially because of the guitar tone Jesus fucking CHRIST is it massive. It's so ridiculously overblown and distorted that the only thing one usually thinks to compare it to is Torsofuck's full-length, and even then Disfiguring the Goddess probably has the edge there. It's not exactly an ideal guitar in this kind of music, but it's so fuzzy, so crunchy, so reverb-laden, so vast in general that any possible reaction of hatred or disapproval is warped around to, at the very worst, incredulity. I can only imagine the average initial reaction to it as something like confused but pleasant surprise, like coming home from work one day and discovering that your girlfriend has gathered up eight of the characters from Cathouse and organized a surprise MFFFFFFFFF orgy for you as an early birthday present. In short: listening to this through cheap headphones without a decent amount of bass will shred your eardrums to pieces.

This is in no way, shape or form music about riffs. Technical tremolo/sweep patterns dot the music in places for several seconds at a time, but they're played so dissonantly and murkily that you can tell the only reason they're used is to get the momentum going. And when they let that momentum out (usually with a crushing, stomping "slam" that's really just a bunch of dissonant chord triplets), dear god it's good. In a way, you can kind of tell that this is metal(-esque) music made by somebody with a background in forming electronic music, because the sense of progression/payoff is not only excellent, but nearly constant. The momentum flows perfectly, even on the tracks that are basically composed entirely of slow parts like "Chthonian" and "Feeding of Nihility" - those are surprisingly solid standalone works on account of the impressive rhythmic variation, despite the fact that they should sound like parts of unfinished songs in theory. The vocal work is a standout point as well (though you may have guessed that, considering how often Big Chocolate's vocals are fellated among his fanbase); it's no wonder they're generally one of the standout elements of the music. When he's not Torsofuck-croaking, his guttural vocals are surprisingly thick; they end up sounding more like a roar than your usual gurgles, which puts an even bigger sense of power and push behind the music. High-pitched, impish screams are also occasionally used, and while they're excellent they're almost exclusively double-tracked quietly behind the lower vocals (possibly for the better?). Overall, they're very good - they take a larger amount of command over the music than most BDM vocals do without being totally obnoxious in the process.

This is probably the only important DTG release that doesn't have a very pronounced amount of symphonics or synthwork in the meat of the music - "Pacifism of Insignificancy" has a choir section backing up its second half, and "Axiom of the Weak" has a short synthy passage early on, but as a general rule you'll just be getting ultra-brutal vocals on top of guitars that try their darndest to not sound like musical instruments anymore. Essentially, in sonic terms, it's the heaviest thing Disfiguring the Goddess has ever released. This is a worthwhile EP - it's short enough to not overstay its welcome for anybody who can only handle this kind of stuff in small doses, but it's got enough awesome moments (like the ending of "Abrogation's Crown") to make sure that people who eat this shit up like I do will keep coming back to it. It's got a couple weak spots - I sometimes forget that "Somnambulism Candlelight" is even a track on this release, because it doesn't have any standout sections - but its strengths more than make up for its shortcomings.