Friday, July 12, 2013
Dehuman Reign - Destructive Intent EP (2013)
Speed is the rule, and slower or mid-paced material the exception, especially once you've crossed the mournful harmonic crescent of the intro "Prelude to Perdition". I can't promise a lot of originality in the riffing cycles, since they've already been played out for so long, but the Berliners manage to transform it into something exciting and punchy, and they do with a nice, clear sheen of production through which you can make out all the details in the guitars. Blasting, fills and foot-work are the human embodiment of a storm, and the guitars often erupt into these mischievous, excellent picking structures like the bridge of "Extinction Machine" where you feel like, in the midst of this torrential slaughter, a band of gleeful imps were dancing on your spine. Hell, once in awhile I even caught a bit of that Malleus Maleficarum-era Pestilence surgical riff style, and you know how I feel about that! Vocals are delivered with a guttural honesty emphasized with a gritty low end rumble when he sustains some of the lower barks, with some impetuous snarling circa classic Deicide to round it all out. The leads in tracks like "Irreversible Soul Consumption" are great, they even go so far to make sure the rhythm guitars beneath the solos are catchy, the mark of really giving a damn!
And because Dehuman Reign gives a damn, so do I. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a great deal of this morbid, suffocating, atmospheric raw death metal that is all the rage nowadays, but Destructive Intent lives up to its name in reminding us that the genre need not skulk about in the caverns and sepulchers for all time to stay 'legit'. No, it's also capable of bringing online enough artillery to level a major city, and even if the actual leaning of the songwriting here is nothing novel, they're tearing out some of the most invigorating and apocalyptic tremolo picking patterns I've heard all year. The two 'Invocation' dark ambient interludes with the down-pitched ritualistic spoken word might seem a fraction cheesy, but they actually do provide a breather before each of the ensuing cataclysms, so they're a welcome enough addition. Ultimately, while this isn't the catchiest death I've heard lately, the intensity, conviction and production of this mini-album provide plenty enough thrills for those who want their death metal fast, clean, brutal and nihilistic.
Verdict: Win [7.5/10]