Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Deathrow - Deception Ignored [1988]

I’m sure many who first encountered the infamous ‘’Raging Steel’’ will be in for quite a shock when they hear this, their third effort, ‘’Deception Ignored’’.  Deathrow started as a speed/thrash group, adventurous and dynamic, and keeping certain aesthetics of the early Germanic thrash metal sound, hinted in the sublime savagery, or the crude malevolence, but never has a band been through such an anomalous change. ‘’Deception Ignored’’ is not a step up from its predecessor, it’s not two steps up, not three. It’s a hundred steps ahead its previous version. Over only one year, Deathrow enlarged their arsenal to the size of a modern army, going through a most dramatic change from what used to be an army no more sophisticated than Neanderthals, sharpening their crude weapons. Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy ‘’Raging Steel’’ (although I can’t say the same thing about the debut album) in its ways of simplistic butchery and dissection, lashing forth primal Teutonic speed/thrash, but this is something else entirely.

The year is 1988 and there already a far more complex band on the run: Megadeth. Even though Deathrow came later than the US giants and released two records that  were easily outshined by its peers, ‘’Deception Ignored’’ is a massive ‘’Fuck You’’ in the face of Dave Mustaine, making his skill with the guitar look like a chimp toying with a harp. It’s still very early, considering that the major influences that pioneered technical metal in general rose not until the early/mid 90’s. Deathrow manage to even surpass those guitar freaks at their own game. ‘’Deception Ignored’’ is an endless, prolific gate of riffs, keeping you busy for every second that passes, with any sort of trick, technique or strategy that you can think of. I’m flabbergast each time I hear the riffs, and I’m more amazed that they’re fabricated purely out of raw material and technical prowess, no pedals, no machines whatsoever; only savvy musicianship.

The riffs that ‘’Deception Ignored’’ spews are absolutely arduous brain bogglers. Each riff, each note is static flash of super-vigorousness, progressing simultaneously and incessantly, while both torturing your brain muscles and ripping, shredding through heaps and heaps of flesh, robotically slashing and trimming its way into who knows what. As fantastic as each riff is, they’re also enveloping and totally captivating, precise and decisive, and ridiculously melodious. ‘’Deception Ignored’’ houses many thundering powerhouses of crushing, vivacious thrash, but it’s the subtle fluctuations that go on in and above the strident bolts that bedeck the compositions. Each song is an even more tiresome composition yet it’s also one that’s even more entertaining, and the songs follow each other with no breaks (expect for the one minute piano intro on ‘’Tricton’’), keeping busy with rapid incursions all the time. ‘’Deception Ignored’’ is excessively decisive and direct yet at the same time it’s exceedingly tricky and deluding.

The melodious side of ‘’Deception Ignored’’ offer both the possibly most technical side of thrash metal as well as representing complex classical music. Many of the melodies that flow with the stream of chugs are classical music notes played on guitar, and they sound especially clever with the thin, metallic surface engulfing the tone. A hint weaker, and the record might not have given off the anger properly and consistently, and a bit more distortion only meant that the notes would have all tangled and drowned amongst themselves. The vocal work on ‘’Deception Ignored’’ is just as schizophrenic as the wonderful guitar patterns that adorn it. They’re vicious but at the same time high-pitched and passionate when need be and despite appearing at seldom amongst the current of compositions, they make the best of it. With the songs following each other consistently, and each song consisting of near a thousand notes(or even more maybe), it is naturally hard to carve out the distinguished features of each track, and I still have some trouble with it, but once you get to know the songs, you’ll see each has its own character, and each one is a different excursion of the many-faced apparition that is Deception Ignored.

‘’Events In Concealment’’ introduces a mere eighth of what ‘’Deception Ignored’’ has in store for the listener, channelling between verse and bridge structures with ease while formulating riffs that both reek of Slayer, Exodus, Metallica and Deathrow’s own traits, semi-technical barrages of strident lashes. ‘’The Deathwish’’ is all about sudden strokes and lighting crashes that come and go like a tide sweeping across a try beach – only much faster. ‘’Triocton’’ is the second opus of the album along with ‘’Narcotic’’, gnawing the listener’s mind with visceral technicality and superior rays of chaotic thrash melodies, with certain angular sections that highlight the drums, and their accent giving beats. ‘’N.L.H.M’’ is relatively concise and it fits harmonious, almost sombre melodies into the stubborn thrash texture, bringing us both day and night within just three minutes, and ‘’Machinery’’ is callous incursion of dynamic, exciting thrash madness, queer and jumpy rather than completely tangled, but the brain suffers yet another exercise with ‘’Narcotic’’ as it’s dominated with rhythmic stomps, bobbing you up and down, featuring almost bluesy guitar riffs. The fun parade is concluded with ‘’Bureaucrazy’’ yet another slab of brisk zig-zags and pulls, and with it, the hardest mind exercise you ever had ends.

‘’Deception Ignored’’ is musically supreme to any of its peers, and slam in the face of any who imagine they can make it more complex. It’s the highest calibre of technical metal, and even its fellow countrymen eluded it during the time it was released, it still reigns supreme, at least for me. Despite the fact that I love it, and cherish it, it’s still one test that I don’t frequently take, due it’s particularly tiresome nature, and its sweltering spasm of riffs. ‘’Deception Ignored’’ is absolutelt brilliant, flawless, overwhelming and inaccessible for those who are not esoteric or zealous about its way. It’s peerless, but in a far more brain tangling way than you think.

''Events In Concealment''

Final Rating
Legendary [10/10]