Music Reviews


Ugliness Revealed



Holy Dead Trinity


As of late, a mighty Morbid Angel looms large over the underground, its wingspan stretching wide and formidably across the modern death metal scene. Among those deathblast denizens, then: Krisiun, God Dethroned, Pessimist, Ritual Carnage, Anasarca, Failed Humanity, recent Gehenna, the now-disbanded Angelcorpse, and pretty much the whole post-Vader Polish pack, to name but a few. Granted, the results may vary wildly, as do the various periods being pilfered from, but there’s just no debating the immense influence Trey Azagthoth’s genius brainchild has wielded during the greater half of the ’90s, all guilty parties perpetually praying at the altars of madness.

Which brings us to two Angelic newcomers, Defiled and Hate. Defiled, a Japanese quartet, are perhaps equally enamored with Gorguts’ more out-there recent work as they are with Azagthoth’s most insanely technical moments, rendering their Ugliness Revealed sophomore outing an arrhythmic seesaw of jaw-jarring sequence after jaw-jarring sequence, never really locking onto a riff or rhythm long enough to pull in the most casual of rivetheads. It’s damn near overkill, and bound to sound like one big uni-blur if you’re not paying much attention. Thing is, Defiled have the chops and tightness • and general alchemical outlook, I guess • to make this work, just not yet. When and if they decide to actually write songs • or, alternately and more frightening still, fragment their lacerating loopiness even further • is anyone’s guess, but Defiled could yet become a synapse-damaging force to reckon with in years to come.

Hate, a Polish four-piece (go figure), fare a bit better, albeit differently, on their first worldwide release, Holy Dead Trinity. While Defiled strive for the dissonance of Domination, Hate go more for the jugular ala Covenant or Formulas Fatal to the Flesh. There’s still a hefty amount of those whirlwinding cyclone-riff cycles latent on both aforementioned albums, mind you, but where Holy Dead Trinity (relatively) succeeds is not necessarily aping the two as much as it similarly uses a more linear • but no less violent • framework to palatably place a premium on semi-structure. Comparatively more digestible, yeah, but there’s still a goodly deal of spot-the-riffoff going on here, a matter unfortunately compounded by the all-too-infrequent guitar solos, which are eerily expressionistic when they do rarely crop up. Next time, lads, toss in more of those • then we’ll talk.

Blessed are the sick? Not entirely.

Necropolis Records, PO Box 14815, Fremont, CA 94539-4815;; WWIII Records, PO Box 4517, Downey, CA 90241;

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