Friday, January 27, 2012

Depremacy - Exorcism

Basics are solid, execution needs work

Continuing my slog through local demos I've amassed over time, I present to you all another young thrash outfit, Joliet's own Depremacy.  This one is a bit of an oddity, considering there's apparently a tracklisting snafu.  The intended tracklist is in an entirely different order than my copy (and what is posted on MA), and the album cover is also completely different on my copy (I have the cover shown here).  Nevertheless, it is indeed the same EP.  Musically, this is thrash as we know it at it's most basic form.  The current generation of bands under this black/thrash seem to be purely thrash musically, but sport a really rough, thin production and a raspy vocalist and that seems to be enough to attach the "black" addendum to the genre association despite those same descriptors fitting early Kreator material perfectly well.  Nomenclature disputes aside, the music contained on Exorcism is extremely reminiscent of one of my favorite pet bands, the mighty Witchaven.  So if you're familiar with the Hell's Headbangers brand of bestial thrash, you know what to expect straight out of the gate with Depremacy.

Now I try not to complain about lo-fi production, but goddamn are the issues distracting here.  There are painful spikes in volume whenever the band drops out to let one guitar play a riff solo at the beginning of a section, or pretty much any time a song starts or fades or the dynamics shift in even the subtlest way.  The EQ job here is completely awful and it's incredibly distracting.  The entire mix is oversaturated and clips to high heaven, it's a real challenge on the ears.  The playing is sloppy beyond the point of charismatic as well.  I get that this is a young and energetic band and the whole performance being unhinged and unrestrained is probably intentional, but the drums fall off time far too often and the bass break in "Exorcism" is off by what seems like a whole beat and it's just distracting as opposed to organic.  I see what the band is going for, they're going for the "wild and uncontrollable" thing, but it just doesn't work here very well.  In addition to that, the songwriting is fairly bland with only a few shining spots, so when you put it all together this just isn't much to sneeze at.  I think the band has potential and would be more listenable if they cleaned up the dynamics and channeled a bit more of their aggression into songwriting instead of just purely passion.  These kids are putting their all into their performance, there just isn't a lot to show for it as of yet.

RATING - 48%

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