"Controlled Elite"

By Thrash-head

From what I've read on the band, Dehumanized has been trying in vain to get back off the ground since their cult classic "Prophecies Foretold" came out a decade-and-a-half ago. The band has had much lineup instability, with only drummer George Torres (who I seem to recall showed up to a Mortician set at Metalfest back in 2000 only to not even play) and guitarist Rich Nagasawa remaining from the previous full-length.

While George can sometimes really kill it - dig the bomb blasts in "Immorally Reborn" for all the proof you need - there are many times on this disc, like on "None Shall Remain," the slow-down in "His Burden," and opener "Body Colonizers" where I struggle to NOT focus on his desperate need for a metronome. It really is the only awful part of this whole disc. Sometimes he even tends to stray from the original tempo in such a way that it makes a fun guessing game as to where the one-beat is going to be. Reminds me sometimes of Duane Timlin when he used to play for Divine Empire and damn-near made that band intolerable; only difference being that when George is on it, he's fucking on it! As for the riffage contained herein, Rich and his co-guitarist Paul Tavora really do have a nice gift of mosh-ready death metal songwriting. Make no mistake, this isn't tech-death by any stretch, but where the riffs can sometimes be simplistic as one palm-mute per beat, it's punctuated by some downright awesome Suffocation-esque flourishes where they can get fast, throw in a complex, angular picking pattern, or even a great guitar solo that comes out of left field but is still tastefully done. Vocalist Michael Centrone is downright killing it here, too. Gutteral without being ridiculous (no pig squeals here!), and still oozing testosterone with how he bellow his lines, this is what death metal vocals were always meant to be. Flat-out, balls out!

It's not groundbreaking, but nothing in this genre is really meant to be. What this music is meant for is the fan of brutal death metal who just wants music to bang your head, beat your friends, and smash your neighbors face to. Dehumanized succeed at this brilliantly.