Album Review: DEFEATED SANITY - The Sanguinary Impetus
Artist: Defeated Sanity
Album: The Sanguinary Impetus
Genre: Brutal Death Metal
Review: Anthony Melbourne
Germany's DEFEATED SANITY are set to take the Brutal Death Metal world by the throat and drag it’s rotting corpse through the cobble stone lined streets of Berlin with the release of their sixth record, ‘THE SANGUINARY IMPETUS’. Diverging ever so slightly from the Groove & Slam driven material of 2016’s ‘Disposal of the Dead // Dharmata’, in favour of the decidedly more Technical and Progressive writing style of their 2013 opus ‘Passages into Deformity’.
I’ve followed Defeated Sanity for many years from a far, and have always appreciated their versatility as purveyors of the more debauched style of Death Metal - whereas Brutal Death Metal is often seen as the less sophisticated cousin of the aforementioned sub-genre of Extreme Metal, these savvy Germans bring some welcomed flavours to the dinner table for us to feast with ever changing tempos and time signatures and virtuous musical abilities that feels like controlled chaos is about to unfurl and drag us all into the abyss.
Of their 20+ years in the underground scene, Drummer/Multi-Instrumentalist Lille Gruber (who also serves as Guitarist on the record), joined by Bassist Jacob Schmidt & Vocalist Josh Welshman have shown considerable and obvious signs of evolution and maturity in their sound; never making the same record twice, they have proven to be true masters of their craft, constantly pushing the limits of extremity and technical prowess.
Opening this absolute beast of a record is ‘PHYTODIGESTION’, beginning with a rather anticlimactic and solemn snare and a kick, slowly gaining momentum, building to the first of many ungodly Blast beats, coupled with a frenetic Progressive riff section that evokes almost instant anxiety and tension, while a descending Bass tapping section that seems to just heighten the stress, threatening to spiral out of control. Lille Gruber’s Jazz influences shine through here with some well executed drum accents and tight fills, all the while vocalist Josh Welshman appropriately shreds his vocal chords with some of the lowest and most defined Gutturals I’ve ever heard, the transition from the lightning fast BDM into the slower slam breakdown towards of the end is flawless.
‘IMPOSED CORPOREAL INHABITATION’ doesn’t fuck around either, bludgeoning would be the most appropriate word to use when describing this track (let alone the entire album!), the drumming is particularly impressive here, fills & blasts intertwine with sickening Bass & Guitar riffs and arpeggios in a perfect marriage of Brutality and Technicality. Taking a more straight up Death Metal approach to the riff structures that bring to mind ‘Covenant’ era ‘Morbid Angel’ meets ‘Effigy of the Forgotten’ era ‘Suffocation’, with an emphasis on Groove that keeps the tracks momentum moving forward before ending abruptly.
The respite is brief as the beginning of ‘CONCEIVED THROUGH SAVAGERY’ almost seamlessly segues from the previous track, showing off DS’s superb writing skills. Keeping the same pace throughout, barely letting you up to catch your breath until the very end, slowing down just enough to lure you into a false sense of security, only to bludgeon you once more, ending with an echoing war cry before ’ENITITY DISSOLVING ENTITY’ continues the attack with constant tempo changes - Slowing to a mid-paced Groove, picking the pace back up then slowing down again culminating in a crushing Slamming breakdown.
‘INSECTA INCENDIUM’, the first single released for the album, brings back the chaotic wall of sound that Defeated Sanity’s own brand of Technical Brutal Death Metal is known for - flourishes of beauty writhing amongst the filth - never shying away from the head banging slam riffs, transitioning from technical to straight up brutality with ease, from mid paced to frighteningly fast in the blink of an eye, ’ARBOREOUSLY TRANSFIXED’ follows suit (I get ‘I, Monarch’ era ‘Hate Eternal’ vibes here). The almost cinematic feel of this record is akin to a Movie soundtrack - dynamic and relentless in its vision, albeit a soundtrack to an entire franchise of Horror films along the lines of Hostel or Saw.
The second single ‘PROPELLED INTO SACRILEGE’ though, feels like its own stand-alone track, with the first actual break between songs with expertly executed arpeggios and tremolo driven guitar and bass parts with relentless blasts that seem inhuman. The fact that drummer Lille Gruber serves as not only Drummer but also lead Guitarist for this record is mind blowing, his writing is phenomenal, this makes for a very cohesive writing style that takes into account of everything when constructing a record as Technical as this.
‘DRIVELLING PUTREFACTION’ & ‘DISLIMBING THE OSTRACIZED’ are the longest offerings on the record and together almost form one very long epic song split into two, the former is much slower in pace compared with the rest of the material found on this record, and for good reason, its pace feels intentionally subdued, a purposeful foreshadowing of the absolute beldam that is about to erupt, slowly building to the ultimate conclusion until finally the latter - the final track unleashes a barrage of sinister riffs and blast beats. Tempos and time signatures convulse and atrophy, culminating in the most crushingly brutal breakdown I’ve heard probably ever.
A very well written and well thought out album, it does indeed have a Soundtrack quality it, I’d recommend listening to it as a whole, though every song on its own hits hard, the true power to this record lies in its ability to form one cohesive piece, which speaks volumes on the bands vision and ability.
DEFEATED SANITY will release The Sanguinary Impetus on July 24 via Willowtip Records.