Alrighty, let’s open up another can of Brutal Technical Death Metal. The problem with releases such as DEFEATED SANITY’s “Psalms Of The Moribund” lies in the fact that you could burn each file to a separate mini-disc, place them in a paper sack with a dead kitten and thousands of other tracks from competing bands, and host a lottery with record execs to determine what will appear on the next compact disc. The music and vocals have lost their shock value, and the artists now must compete at such high levels that they blend more than they refine.
Musically, DEFEATED SANITY offer technical streams of drop-tuned instrumentation corralled around a punishing sweep of precise and calculated drumming. “Psalms Of The Moribund” makes frequent use of speed picking and pinched harmonics, but drummer Lille Gruber (as usual in this field) serves as the band’s principle attraction. “Fatal Self Inflicted Disfigurement” captures some of the fastest drum work witnessed albeit it in brief spurts. “Hideously Disembodied” and “Butchered Identity” have captivating intros, but as with most Brutal artists the band falls flat once the vocals commence.
The gutturals that scar many Technical Death releases occasionally exhume a few poetic trophies. “Psalms Of The Moribund” relies heavily on common lyrical themes and seldom offers more than a graphic depiction of mortal suffering. Disfigurement (whether self-inflicted, delivered by the hands of a mob, or wretched from within by demonic powers) provides a constant reference point for DEFEATED SANITY, as does the loss of teeth. However, the art of poetry nestles into their works from time to time yielding surprising results:
Emulating idols of meat
Soulless walking dead
Man made embellishments
Manipulating the surface
Harsh depictions of brutality do little for the average listener, but on occasion the simple and unforced nature of authoring gore taps into a subconscious dissertation on humanity and its ruthless possibilities. In these moments DEFEATED SANITY shines. However, at their pinnacle the band can only deliver what every extremist offers – nothing new.
(Online October 19, 2007)