Friday, July 19, 2013

Dehuman Reign - Destructive Intent [2013]

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only who has had a kick out of recent cavern-dwelling death metal bands who teleport back to the years of old and seek to plummet us with nostalgia, no matter how many times we've criticized their bothersome existence. And yet, they come in such copious quantities these days that I have little notion of doing anything besides scoffing at these beleaguering trends, except get smacked with a different mallet every now and then. For those who need that extra breath of fresh air to escape the redundancy, but still want to somehow feel nostalgia splashing against their face, Dehuman Reign presents one of the better options for escapism. I admit that I didn't initially give the credit these guys really deserve, because these Germans seem come crashing out of nowhere, and they've instantly signed with the German imprint F.D.A Rekotz who presented us old school death metal aficionados a fairly impressive selection of releases. Death metal attribution that gathers it influences from Krisiun, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel or Vader is not generally my cup of tea, giving the fact that I've always preferred ghastly smudges of grime and grotesqueness over straight-up, punchy USDM motifs, but I've found myself bowled over by Dehuman Reign's debut EP rather easily.

This undoubtedly nothing novel for even the rookie death metal collector; big, abrasive guitars denting holes in your cranial complex wider than whole cannonballs, induced with propulsive thrash chug affairs that are just as ruinous, but ''Destructive Intent'' doesn't merely hold appeal solely for fans of Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation or Vader; the technically imbued narrative of its swirling melodies will retract fans of more modern death metal, and all the riffs collide with such dexterous unison that the melodic framework of the EP doesn't thwart the heavier ones, or vice-versa. The drums are pernicious, and just as destructive as the guitars as if the two aspects combined were musical reflections of a group of pissed off mountain trolls stampeding downwards from the mountain and into an obscured target. The double-kicks are great, spicing up the band's already veritable range of annihilation apparatus, and the fills are just perfectly timed and brilliant, serving as brief preludes for the upcoming storm. Besides the more staccato styled chugging orgies, the spiraling tremolos are also turbulent enough to wipe you off the face of the Earth, and they always seem to accompanied with less audible technical death metal fillers produced by the second guitar, picked at a rapid pace, and inevitably implying that the Germans were just as influenced by Decapitated as they were by the aforementioned titans of brutality. Speaking of brutality, there are similarities between this and the rather unsung US death metal group Brutality, which aren't half as remote as I would have imagined.

Perhaps the main reason I was tepid in approaching ''Destructive Intent'' is because they reminded me a lot of their label-mates Deserted Fear, who produced an unimpressive full-length last year that was very much in the same vein as this, but Dehuman Reign's attitude and semi-modern ballast of riffs was a serious selling point for me, and the Germans are spot fucking on this EP, no matter how unoriginal their core sound is. The production is hardly sodden; it's wreathed in earthen texture and is broad, much like the clear, yet obviously guttural vocal delivery which was simply another layer of shattering concussion along with the guitars and drums. The brief opener ''Prelude To Perdition'' is bound to confuse a few because it's so damn different than the rest of the EP, featuring trudging guitars and far more aural aptitude than the rest of the disc, with shrieking black metal rasps that rather contradict the vocalist's standard Chris Barnes inflection. Strange choice for an opener I admit, but I doubt a horror flick extract from 80's would suit them better. There's not really anything else to say about this record, except that it tops a good many other young death metal acts, so if you ever feel that your beheading procedure is taking too much time or feels like too much of a drudge, feel free to try ''Destructive Intent''. It's quick, and finalizing. Happy beheading.

Masks of Sorrow
Extinction Machine
Staring Beyond the Edge of Time

Rating: 77,5%

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