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Destructive Intent EP

FDA Rekotz (2013)
Rating: 7/10

German death metal straight from the old school is how I’d describe Destructive Intent, the debut EP by Germany’s Dehuman Reign. This quintet – who formed in 2011 – have decided to introduce themselves to the metal world with the subtlety of a wrecking ball to the ribcage, such is the ferocious groove of this eight-track monster.

The line-up here is Alex (vocals), Torsten “Totte” Keller (drums), and Rouven (bass), with the twin-guitar barrage coming courtesy of Tesk Pörksen and Ulf Binder. Destructive Intent lives up to its name, and for some 20 minutes the listener will feel as though their ears have been thrown into a blender. That isn’t to say these guys are simply all out aggression, however.

Although the tracks are relatively short, the band somehow manage to fit in doses of old-fashioned grindcore alongside those more mouldy death metal patches – all still finding time for melody within the cracks of mayhem. Nowhere more evident is this shape-shifting quality than on tracks such as ‘Masks Of Sorrow’ (the longest track on offer) and the backbone of the album, namely ‘Staring Beyond The Edge Of Time’.

Fans of bands ranging from Benediction to Florida’s Massacre will no doubt find much to froth at with the chunky slabs of guitar and Alex’s deep, chesty growls. Dehuman Reign seem to be able to find their feet at whatever pace. This is something I can admire them for, because not since the early to mid 90s has a band felt so comfortable in their own skin. Sure, there’s nothing overtly dazzling or original about tracks such as ‘Extinction Machine’ or the weighty pummel of ‘Veil Of Ignorance’, but these German maniacs are clearly dab hands at shifting the pace, and yet remain accessible at either end of the scale.

Reverting back to ‘Masks Of Sorrow’, we hear an entertaining mix of classic sounding, no thrills death metal that begins with break-neck drumming and wild, flailing riffs. Nevertheless, the track matures into quite a groove-based monster the longer it runs, the second half of the cut a big, moshing, frothing beast of a record featuring mid-tempo guitars and deeper, yet slower vocal bellows. However, as the comfort starts to set in the track becomes a scalp remover courtesy of some manic vocal squawks and hyper drums – before once again resorting to a slower melody.

Elsewhere, the band offers the crushing ‘Irreversible Soul Consumption’ and two intriguing interludes in the form of ‘Invocation I Black Seed’ and ‘Invocation II Scorched Earth’ to mix things up. Destructive Intent is not going to break any new ground, but it’s a stubborn record that refuses to go away – even though you’ve heard much of this sort of thing before.

Neil Arnold

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