Controlled Elite

I had initially filed this under “did we really need this reunion?” category when I got it for review. I mean, while I realize that the band’s sole release, 1998’s Prophecies Foretold  was a solid entry into the New Yawk style of death metal and the band got them briefly mentioned in the same breath as Suffocation, Pyrexia, Dying Fetus and Internal Bleeding. However, I thought the the album was merely OK and had a horrible production/mix.

So two of the original members from that release , drummer George Torres and guitarist Ray Nagasawa cobbled together a line up and reformed the band and released Controlled Elite, and while I wasn’t over the moon about this reunion, it turns out that Controlled Elite is actually pretty good and a pretty damn convincing and  real return to the classic NYDM sound of the 90s, which is no surprise as some of the material was supposedly written back in the 90s.

Neither full on slam , tech or  brutal death metal, Dehumanized‘s sound is one that’s satisfies a little of all. It culls from the classic Suffocation sound of squeally blasts and head banging grooves.  One simply needs to listen to any recent Dying Fetus or Suffocation record to get an idea of what Dehumanized sound like. But to their credit, Torres, Nagawasa and co. have an innate link to the classic sound and pull it off without forcing it or either being too slammy or brootal brah. It’s natural sounding and full of burly New Yawk attitude and sneer, without over doing it.

Bolstered by a nice beefy production and a local crew of musicians that can pull it off (notably new vocalist Michael Centrone) all of the songs carry a nice heft and lope within rudimentary blasts. It’s not going to light up any year end lists but will certainly tide fans over until Suffocation‘s Pinnacle of Bedlam drops next year. That being said, I found my self thoroughly enjoying the massive breakdowns and nostalgic  rumbling grooves contained in the likes of “None Shall Remain”, “Root of Evil”, and “His Burden” a very nifty mid album trifecta, as well as the huge title track.

The album closes out with an untitled 7 minute track which, after a few minutes of silence reveals a hidden track,  a redone version of “Condemned” from Prophecies Foretold, and the fact it blends in seamlessly with the rest of the material (or vise versa) shows how natural Controlled Elite sounds. Not to mention how great this old track sounds with the new production.

What’s impressive about Controlled Elite is that unlike Suffocation, who (in my humble opinion)  needed an album or two to get their mojo back, Dehumanized took 14 years off and came back with a really strong album right off the get go, and with only 2/3 of the Prophecies Foretold lineup.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 17th, 2012


  1. Commented by: jerry

    Prophecies Foretold ruled my high school life in 98. Well, at least tracks 1 and 5 did. Now if Disfigured could get back together and give me a full length my NY death metal fix will be achieved.
    Or a new Ton record. That band ruled.

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