Review Summary: A worthwhile addition to any death metal library.
Amongst most die-hard death metal acts, the likes of Defeated Sanity aren't exactly an unknown figure within extreme metal. Since the mid-nineties the Germany based group have been churning out some of the genre’s gnarliest compositions that touched on some of the genre’s more prevalent sonic landscapes. Largely their sound bridged the gaps between a looser Cryptopsy, took the bite of a typical Suffocation record and added the flair borne from the depths of the Defeated Sanity aural beast. It’s this formula that would eventually crescendo in the form of their 2016 release, Disposal Of The Dead // Dharmata
, providing the group with the deserved accolades of a career on an upward trajectory. The group’s newest effort however, moves on from the “split album with themselves” recipe of their latest album and instead moves Defeated Sanity back into the realms of conventional (for lack of a better term regarding the direct flair) albums once more.
That’s not to undersell The Sanguinary Impetus
short of achieving the same levels of praise found by the group’s 2016 effort. In comparison, it’s a different entity. Where Disposal Of The Dead // Dharmata
brought two faces of the same act to the forefront, separating them with ease and precision, the likes of The Sanguinary Impetus
can be likened to falling out of freight train. No matter how much you gauge the speed, direction or landing spot the impact itself is brutal, unrelenting and unforgiving. A train jumper may escape with a few scratches, or not escape at all - but that’s the risk a person would take upon themselves. Such is the build into “Phytodigestion” as a snare cuts through the silence before Gruber’s blasting couples with tormenting guitar melodies. The opening track itself identifies well within the modern Defeated Sanity brand; tactile, intricate levels of technicality flow naturally from the speaker. The album’s natural tumble combines ferocious hits of death metal stereotypes done well. “Entity Dissolving Entity” continues the furor with the typical Defeated Sanity fluidity. The guitars crunch their way through Welshman’s unforgiving growled phrasings. Despite the near constant brutality of the album’s music, Welshman’s vocals amass themselves at the top of the mix without taking the shine away from the primal ferocity which is The Sanguinary Impetus
’s larger vision.
The album’s second half, much like the first, continues in waves of ferocity. “Arboreously Transfixed” relaxes the album’s tempo in places, but doesn’t let up in terms of the record’s overall brutality. There’s room to breathe here, between the growls and abyss wrenching riffs. It’s not something listeners will greet expectantly, or appreciate in a casual listen - but it’s there nonetheless, wrapped up in minute levels of detail.
At a first listen, The Sanguinary Impetus
is somewhat a one dimensional affair, mostly given to its ability to take most death metal stereotypes and slam them till the nth degree. Those with a keener ear however get to enjoy the immensity disguised as technical simplicity. Still there’s nuance here, distinguished by the group’s ability to build on musical ideas and package them in a superb production. For it almost goes without saying that the mastering work of Colin Marston has lifted The Sanguinary Impetus
’s blistering soundscapes to new levels. Hyperbole? Definitely not in this context. Defeated Sanity have encapsulated and moved away from the prestige of their 2016 release by returning to a fundamental album release. They haven’t forgotten the flair, or the technicality but they have returned to a level of straightforwardness (if you could call it that) within their own brand of brutally focused, slamming death metal. After multiple excursions, The Sanguinary Impetus
is a testament to a band hitting their stride. Not because they’ve found some innovative means to showcase their older tendencies, but because their ‘showcase’ is done well across the board. The Sanguinary Impetus
could be the extreme album of the year, living rent free in a world of death metal.