This is my first experience with this band, although it is their fourth full-length release. So much for being gentle the first time. I have not been this blasted into this kind of audio submission since Cryptopsy’s Whisper Supremacy.

There have been some impressive releases in to heavier end of the Death metal/grindcore spectrum (Soils of Fate and Anata come to mind) recently. However, Sweden’s Deranged have risen above that shortlist, and unleashed a thirty-five minute assault on the senses that left me battered and bruised, but more importantly-impressed. While this genre of brutal death metal has become saturated with gore driven shock bands, Deranged brings a more indirect yet equally disturbing presentation to their material.

Firstly, the inlay booklet and accompanying artwork is subliminally disturbing without being overtly offensive. The same could be said for the music. This tight three- piece draw influences from all the greats you’d expect: Slayer, Carcass, Autopsy and Morbid Angel. All those influences are great, but what makes this album a little different, is that they have packaged their form of blasting death metal with a tight Gothenburg sheen. They may hate me saying this but, with a crunchy, clean production and songwriting that stands out from other similar acts, they have a very NWSDM aura about them. This is particularly evident on the ripping opening track “Flesh Rebel”. If the riffs at 3:07 and 4:02 do not get you slamming your head like a Soilwork tune-I don’t know what will. Luckily there are several such great moments in the album. The riff and solo at 1:50 in “Malebolgia” is another. Don’t get me wrong-this stuff is infinitely more brutal than Soilwork or Gardenian, but it does have that NWSDM “feel” at certain times. This is a good thing for a few reasons: 1) It sets itself apart from the horde of Cannibal Corpse/Morbid Angel worshippers. 2) It makes the whole CD listenable rather than just blowing by in a blur of blast beats and whirling staccato riffs (Of which there are plenty). 3) This kind of structured chaos allows the excellent musicianship and writing of all three members to shine through, rather than be lost in wall of bottom end noise.

Thankfully, all of the songs are over two minutes, which makes them all a satisfying listen rather than a group of blasting riffs strung together in 30 second barrages. All that being said, the vocalist could use a little more variety to complement the varied musical attack. I also found myself skipping past the two instrumental tracks (“La Orgia De Los Muertos” &”Screen Passion”), consisting of samples, drum beats and sound effects. Overall, an excellent brutal death metal CD that should appease fans of Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse as well as those of The Forsaken and Soilwork. I’m off to go track their other albums.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 25th, 2001


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