November 2, 2012 | , | 4

Deserted Fear, My Empire

Deserted Fear: My Empire

It’s not often that an album comes along and completely consumes me like the albums of my youth — those times when I’d play a cassette (yes, cassette… I’m old) over and over and over until it became stretched and the music slower mutilations of their former selves. If Deserted Fear’s debut release, My Empire, were on a cassette tape as well, that shit would be unrecognizable by now.

It’s not that this album hails the second coming of whatever unholy deity you may worship. It doesn’t, and there is certainly room for improvement. What we’ve got here, instead, is an album that is just balls-to-the-wall infectious. My Empire is one of those releases that bleeds its influences all over the place like a freshly dismembered zombie. Entombed. Dismember. Unleashed. They’re all here, but not rehashed in some ridiculous mimicry. Deserted Fear do well to include all of these influences without leaning on them too heavily, spreading them out quite well from song to song.

You can pick up Entombed’s mosh and Dismember’s rumble without being able to call bullshit on the music. This album also isn’t a straight-up homage to the old school either. Modern death metal bands like Hail of Bullets have also influenced these guys. The sum of all these influences (and Dan Swano’s stellar production) is an album that not only makes a crater-sized impact of a first impression, but also has staying power, sticking to you like glutinous maggots on your rotting carapace.

After the unnecessary “Intro,” the guys get down to business with “The Battalion of Insanities.” This opening salvo of riffs remind of Hail of Bullets as the guys drop into a heavy groove of pounding drums and rumbling bass for a few moments before unleashing Hell. The riffing has a solid buzzsaw demeanor, but doesn’t detract from the catchiness that the guitar work carries throughout the album. The track is memorable and sets a serious tone for the rest of the album. “Pestilential” has a light touch of melody (as does “Nocturnal Frags”) thrown in for good measure as the guys gallop along your cranial cavity with driving riffs and bestial drum work.

“Morbid Infection” is a bit of a departure from the previous tracks as it relies on a bit more of a chunky groove and infectious vocal pattern. It’s a thick track that allows you the opportunity to growl along with the band. “Scene of Crime” utilizes a little sound effects before the buzzing riffs get rolling with a solid head-banging groove. The track also has some of the more creative and technical tempo shifts so the album isn’t just all roiling riffage and nothing else. “Field of Death” has a little more giddyup to its gallop and the title track is a slow burning and bruising song.

My Empire won’t be the best album of the year, but I’ll be damned if it hasn’t captured my attention (and held it) better than any other album this year. It’s infectious. It’s pummeling. And it reminds me of the shit that I cut my teeth on back when the band’s inspirations were just hitting their stride. Deserted Fear have themselves one hell of a debut and it’s only going to get harder for them from here as, now, they’ve got to prove they can live up to expectations.