Review Summary: A clichéd yet solid piece of death metal.
There are certain albums in which a quick look at the artwork on the front and a glance at the name of the band can almost immediately reveal what type of sound the band will have. ‘Reign of Depravity’ by the Greek band Birth Through Gore is certainly one of those albums; a solid slab of relentless death metal ensues once the listener clicks play.
And that shouldn't be of any surprise to the listener either. These guys have everything needed for a death metal band without even listening to the album. Brutal band name with an incomprehensible logo? Check. Unpleasant and desolate album art? Check that too. Violent and perhaps pretentious song titles? You bet your bottom dollar.
Despite the predictability, the album is indeed a great one. One of the first things that is noticeable about ‘Reign of Depravity’ is the quality of the production. All of the instruments and vocals seem to be mixed almost perfectly. Whereas it is rather common in brutal death metal for an album to have appalling production (usually by having either the vocals or the drums far too high in the mix), the production on this album is clear, crisp and well balanced. The drums, despite their blistering and ferocious nature, never overpower the guitars, which grind out sharp and down-tuned riffs typical of death metal. In fact, the guitars and the drums quite often intertwine in interesting ways, such as on the track ‘Doldrums’.
What’s more, the bass is also audible, which is not very common with this type of music, and the vocals are top-notch; typical gutturals are used, and they are mixed to perfection. The album also avoids the use of the ever-so-annoying pig squeals.
However, the problem with this album is that, if you’re a fan of death metal, you’ve definitely heard something like this before. Although the band themselves are hardly well-known, the musical content of the album is nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing refreshing, and the three Greeks seem happy to follow the herd of brutal death metal bands in today’s music.
Another hindrance is the short running time of the album. Clocking in at just under half an hour, it’s hardly what one would call substantial listening, and by the time the album is finished, most of the songs are forgotten anyway.
All in all, if you need to pass the time for half an hour, then by all means give this a listen. If you’re a death metal enthusiast and need more albums to add to your collection, by all means purchase this. After all, looking at ‘Reign of Depravity’ independently and separately to all other music, it is a great album, and worth a listen. However, if you’re looking for original, refreshing and exciting music in the seemingly never-ending abyss of modern death metal bands, look elsewhere. The chances are you’ve heard this before.