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On disc: Damnation Defaced

Beyond The Pale - Mike Thompson - 6 stars

Beyond The Pale

Beyond The Pale
(SAOL - 2010)

Damnation Defaced is a death metal band from Germany that has released one demo (under the name of Defaced), an EP and now this first full length.
Allow me to wax lyrical about vocalists in metal. Now its a commonly held view that a metal singer does not have to be the most talented person in the world. Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger and the legendary Lemmy, amongst others, have shown that a high quality singing voice is not a pre-requisite for a successful career as a metal vocalist. However, occasionally you get the impression that some vocalists really should take some sort of lesson before standing in front of a mic again. Damnation Defaced's growler, Philipp Bischoff, has an unfortunate tendency to slip into this latter group. Generally his growl is fine around the mid-range. Not the greatest display ever but certainly not as bad as some I've heard. Unfortunately he has a tendency to push his vocal ability far beyond its limit and what emits from his mouth is a hoarse croak that one may expect to hear from asthmatic geriatric who has just run a marathon over hot coals... its painful to hear and its a real shame as, for me, it just destroyed any enjoyment I could have gained from this album.
Musically this album is extremely varied ranging from thrashing metal to crushing death only then for an acoustic interlude to catch your ear. Vocalist aside, the musicians all prove themselves competent and deliver the goods in fine style, allowing you to bang your head and work on that chronic whiplash that we metal fans are all so keen on getting!
If it wasn't for the vocalist I could see this album getting a high 7, possibly 8 out of 10 as the songs are all very interesting pieces of music with some great playing on show, especially from the guitarists. However, as I mentioned, the painful vocals really did ruin this album for me and so I cannot award it such a high mark. One to try before you buy.

6 stars

Mike Thompson


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