By Thrash-head

There's something to be said for not judging a book by its cover whenever you see DESERTED FEAR cover art and this album is probably the finest example of that. Sure, this trio from Germany have always been extremely well-rooted in old-school death metal not too far from the likes of BOLT THROWER (I mean, check out track 8, "The One Desire" for proof of this), ASPHYX, and on more recent material KATAKLYSM at their most polished. That said though, take a look at the cover art and you expect something with far, FAR more grime than this.

This is definitely not to say this is a letdown of a record by any stretch and one only need listen blindly to be engulfed by the vibe this melodic death metal offers. And there again, don't let the cover art fool you...this is melo-death with plenty of guitar melody lines bringing the atmosphere. Blast beats and pummeling carpet roll double-bass are often eschewed for straight up driving beats or doomy, gloomy grooves and dare I say it, there are real-deal catchy choruses that just suck you in at every turn. Fabian's lead lines are definitely a standout of the music as they seem to be literally everywhere, with layers of oozing reverb and delay carrying the big rock chords and tremolo-picking of frontman Manuel from riff to riff, and song-to-song. That said, the solos themselves are a bit fewer and further-between, but are never shreddy for the sake of it; they are beautiful melody lines themselves that just happen to incorporate a bit more technique and tasty note choices to make up for the lack of noodling. Speaking of Manuel though, his vocals themselves are the only thing that seem slightly out-of-place on this record as I just feel like they'd fit something slightly more intensely aggro a helluva lot better.

Regarding the fact that this isn't really hitting as extreme as it could - especially given the band's previous output - I don't necessarily think it's the fault of the band, really. I feel like the mix is actually a bit too polished here. A bit of chainsaw guitar tone or even just scooping the mids and making this a bit more old-school may have done wonders here. Same goes for Simon's drums. I mean, could we not have made the kick and toms a bit more thunderous?! I just feel like the music is really catchy, the riffs are really poppin', and more importantly the atmosphere of this recording really allows me to just sink in. But I don't get the idea that this is supposed to be the kind of death metal you RELAX to.

And that's I guess what the conclusion is. This is a fantastic melodic death metal record especially if you like relaxing and vibing out to death metal.