DEPRAVITY – Grand Malevolence

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: https://tometal.com
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://depravitydeath.bandcamp.com
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Depravitydestroy

Band line-up:

Louis Rando (Impiety, The Furor) – Drums
Lynton Cessford (Entrails Eradicated) – Guitar
Jamie Kay (Inanimacy, ex-TheRitual Aura) – Vocals
Ainsley Watkins (ex-Scourge) – Bass
Jarrod Curly (ex-Malignant Monster) – Guitar

Tracklisting:

1. Indulging Psychotic Thoughts
2. Grand Malevolence
3. Invalid Majesty
4. Cantankerous Butcher
5. Trophies of Inhumanity
6. Castrate the Perpetrators
7. The Coming of the Hammering
8. Barbaric Eternity
9. Hallucination Aflame
10. Epitome of Extinction
11. Ghosts in the Void

Review:

Depravity are an Australian death metal band on Transcending Obscurity Records, who will be releasing their latest album ‘Grand Malevolence’ on 4th December, 2020. It comes after their groundbreaking album ‘Evil Upheaval’ which was released in 2018. The group takes inspiration from technical death, brutal death and even progressive death metal. They are for fans of Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Nile, and Immolation, and the musicians have played in acts such as Impiety, The Furor, Entrails Eradicated, and others. 

Unsurprisingly for the genre, you sure do get a lot of riffs here. Many of them could almost be compared to Yngwie Malmsteen. They’re not neoclassical, but they are highly skilled and often very scalic. However, after the millionth ostinato or so, things do start to get a bit predictable. All songs have the same production style (ok, that’s far from unusual but different sounds here and there would be appreciated); they almost all have crazy shred guitar solos that are as samey as the riffs; the growled vocals never change (ok sometimes you get pig squeals and shrieks, but that’s not exactly creative genius); and the drumming whilst creative and flashy eventually turns into a blur of chaos as the listener’s attention starts to wander. 

There are rare moments of change, for example the clean guitars of ‘Castrate the Perpetrators’, but because they’re so limited, they kind of stand out like a sore thumb and sound a little random, rather than refreshing and thoughtful as was probably intended. I doubt they feature in the music to confuse people, but that’s an understandable thought if you’re cynical about this kind of music. There are some varieties in scales used; you get highly chromatic ideas and Middle Eastern flavours, and you get some nice twin guitar harmonies too, but none of that is unusual. 

In conclusion, if you’re a huge riff fanatic and don’t mind the fact many of them sound similar to each other, Depravity could be for you. Saying the band have been influenced by progressive death metal is a little misleading as this album could do with a whole lot more progression and creativity, but it IS brutal and technical, at least. The production is very crisp and powerful if a little fake sounding, but as this album could be perceived as ‘fun’, the lack of realism in the drums isn’t so much of a problem. The drummer sounds like a super robot percussionist from the future, which I guess is cool. This stuff is recommended for most death metal fans, just expect constant cliches. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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