Chapters Of Repugnance
posted on 7/2010 By:
For all the flack death metal catches as the province of meatheads and dopes, its songwriters face some surprisingly knotty dilemmas. DM aims to shock with its rhythmic violence, but because it's ultimately a rock'n'roll subgenre, it also wants to deliver songs that you actually care about. How ought death metal musicians to go about balancing these competing goals?
For Defeated Sanity, the answer is simple: don't bother.
This long-running German act has taken a more accessible turn on Chapters of Repugnance. That is, they've acquired a vocalist whose gurgles are merely guttural, rather than tectonic. Otherwise, they continue to do what they've always done -- churn out self-consciously extreme, Suffocation-worshipping death metal.
Actually, the Suffo namecheck might be a little misleading. New York's finest created the template that defines Defeated Sanity, but their songwriting is infinitely more nuanced than the blastbeat/breakdown paroxysms that inhabit this album. A more accurate NYDM comparison might be Malignancy, whose songs are just as shapeless and scattered as Chapters of Repugnance's nine shit-shows.
But Defeated Sanity are even more single-minded in their pursuit of the brutal death metal crown. Their disregard for structure, melody, and continuity verges on the postmodern; most of us own household appliances that produce more musical sounds than this band does. The closest Defeated Sanity comes to recognizable riffage are the atonal, off-time chugs that dot each song. All else is lost in a torrent of pseudo-industrial noise.
Chapters of Repugnance is, of course, almost impossibly heavy. Defeated Sanity can therefore claim victory and go home. But to what end? It's difficult to imagine even seasoned tech-death veterans connecting to this music -- it's all sound and fury that signifies nothing. Defeated Sanity manage to exemplify the dangers of excess in a genre that worships it. Death metal songsmiths, take note.
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