My, oh my, what do we have here!? At first glance – that is to say judging by the band logo, cover art, and going off of nothing else – you might think what we have here is simply another Slam band. I’ll forgive you for jumping to that assumption, but only this one time. Instead, we have a wholesome Brutal Death Metal album with dark melodies and thoughtful riffs, a style that was strong in the early 2000’s, but unfortunately isn’t being played enough lately. This makes an album like “Dehumanized Depths” much more special. What’s more, this is a one-man project of Oscar Company (Catastrophic Evolution), with flair and punch that even four members generally can’t attain.
Kicking things off fast and heavy, “Dehumanized Depths” isn’t afraid to flex it’s muscle, proving to be a relentless Brutal Death Metal album that packs a bursting bouquet of delectable riffs. There are occasional additions of Technical sweeps and Slam riffs injected into a song, but they are used sparingly enough to hopefully not scare away the discerning Slamophobe. Remember, Suffocation used Slam riffs sparingly and no one ever complained about that, instead we banged our heads until we were in a coma.
My favorite moments on this album generally come from the snappy, twisting bass passages which play together flawlessly with the melodic guitar leads and solos. Said guitar leads and solos are truly what elevate this from being another good Brutal Death Metal album to an exceptional Brutal Death Metal album. While the song writing is consistently interesting throughout the album, those specific moments are what make my mind writhe in a beautifully tortured agony as I descend further into madness. For my money, this is on par with the Melodic Brutal Death Metal masters Fleshless.
The vocals are exceptionally guttural, providing several dense layers of instrumentation without ever overpowering any of the music. Much to my delight, Seyerot of the mighty Brutal Death Metal fiends Carnivorous Voracity is featured on vocal support. The vocals range from what I can only imagine a reanimated drowning victim attempting to growl would sound like, to a werewolf howling with a torn out throat, to pissed off rabid pit bulls.
Each song on “Dehumanized Depths” flows together wholly, delivering a smooth consistency of competent songwriting. A lot of bands in this vein tend to take a solid idea and beat it to death for 8-12 songs, or over-complicate matters with technical wankery that’s all flair and no substance. Oscar, however, knows how to alternate riffing and tempo to make each song feel distinctly individual, without making it feel like it belongs anywhere aside from the place it’s assigned to on the album track-list. Samples are used very sparingly and only to accentuate the theme of a song, they are short and to the point, never removing the listener from what’s important – the music.
With some albums I prefer to sit down and close my eyes in a dark room to absorb the music, others I passively listen to while exploring the galaxy in Elite: Dangerous in order to fully engage with them, but this album is perfect for doing physical activities such as heavy duty yard work, weight lifting, or any cardiovascular exercise. I’m not one to usually enjoy those types of activities and “Dehumanized Depths” functions as a great way to focus on something other than the tedious tasks at hand and keep it interesting for an extended period of time.
“Dehumanized Depths” is as solid as a Brutal Death Metal album can be, something Unique Leader might have released in the early 2000’s, before they became caught up in that pretentious Technical Death Metal fad. Generally speaking, twelve songs can be overwhelming for an album of this nature, and minus a song that functions as an interlude and a song that functions as an outro; there are still ten full songs. I find this to be a suitable length when the ideas stay as fresh as they are, and this is one album that I can listen to repeatedly and find new things that I love about it every time.
Get your filthy paws on this one right here!