Deadborn: Mayhem Maniac Machine

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Deadborn: Mayhem Maniac Machine
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Deadborn: Mayhem Maniac Machine
Technical Death Metal
Apostasy Records
April 24th, 2012
Release length: 35:44
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Formed in 2001, Deadborn has had a pretty rough start getting their feet off the ground, but out of nowhere skipped crawling and went straight into sprinting forward under this monicker. 2004 saw an independently released EP titled Decades of Decapitation, but three years later, the band found themselves signed to one of Germany’s biggest Metal labels, Massacre Records, to issue their debut full-length album. It’s been five years since then, and these Technical Death Metal madmen finally return with the long awaited Mayhem Maniac Machine, issued through upstart label Apostasy Records. But, does the change from a major contract to a small and fresh face in the industry bare as a warning of the quality that lies ahead?

While Mayhem Maniac Machine is far from a raw, amateur recording, it does have one fault: It’s a little too high. This release does have a decent rougher edge to it, but not enough to maintain a strong kick. The overall quality also sounds a little too up there in pitch as well, really taking away some of the bite from certain instruments outside pounding passages or tracks. The guitars sound loud and really stand out thanks to the rathery heavy distortion used, but unfortunately the bass guitar doesn’t quite do as well since it’s lighter in tone, which causes it to be lost in the mix at times. This does become more than a simple weakened support for the foundation when the things becomes louder and more intense by presenting a twanging performance you’d expect from bands of this style that offers a whole other layer to the material. The kicks of the drum kit are rich, loud clicks that make up for the bass, and the cymbals match the levels well, enhancing the music with vibrant crashes, as well as masking the rather hollow snares that seem a little buried between the two most of the time. The vocals are a decent crisp guttural approach, sticking more to a medium range with a nice harshness that asserts a little dominance into the mix, adding some additional impact.

Mayhem Maniac Machine sounds like what you would expect from a modern Death Metal recording session, boasting plenty of quality compositions that never go too over-the-top in technicality of showmanship. “Premises of Cryogenics” utilizes chords that have a little more complexity than most, working against varying speeds of rapid bass kicks while the snares and cymbals do a good job of offering up varied patterns over it. The medium pace naturally twists and distorts into slower speeds thanks to great executions that seem sudden, but perfectly fit the aggressive and commanding attitude of the band. The mixture of catchy, bludgeoning riffs with the levels of the drum kit immediately hook the listener, especially in the tighter, more hostile “Insane Motor Cortex.” This one just comes at the listener full force with a brutal pace, and while the music itself isn’t the most complex, the well ranged riffs in the main passages really build up to the point where you start to genuinely feel tense. The vocals come off a lot deeper as well, sporting a layered effect that perfectly matches the deeper tone presented in the rich and energetic performance.

While “Insane Motor Cortex” really shows off the potential Deadborn have thanks to a richer sound from the chaotic performance, the slower tracks are still really infectious as well. “Profanatic Reanimation” makes a perfect example, where brutality is subtle, and timing becomes a bigger factor than anything else. The chorus seems simplified, but the shifts in drum pattern and chords that suddenly erupt are precise enough to make an impression, as well as force your head into mandatory headbanging. The same goes for the main verses, and the bridge prior to the solo once the music breaks down into more of a Brutal Death Metal approach, ushering in a spirit crushing sound that accentuates the guitar work nicely. This is a complete abstract from “Replicants Device” and “Slaves of Megatron,” where the bass really has more obvious riffs that incorporate a whole new layer to the music for you to wrap your head around. The twanging chords stand out well, clearly showing what this production quality was utilized for in the first place.

Deadborn‘s second full-length may have taken a long time to find it’s way to the masses, but it was definitely time well spent. While Mayhem Maniac Machine isn’t the most jaw-dropping Technical Death Metal effort to be released, it’s one that fans of the style can easily get into thanks to the aggressive music performed, and the subtle complexities in some riffs, the bass in varied tracks, and the timing of shifts in pace here and there. Lighter pitch aside, this does make for a solid, quality release that is well worth keeping an eye out for.

01. Premises of Cryonics – 3:38
02. Profanatic Reanimation – 4:45
03. Bionic Abomination – 4:42
04. Insane Motor Cortex – 5:58
05. Replicants Device – 3:51
06. Slaves of Megatron – 5:19
07. Reinvented Power Process – 1:52
08. Second Order Cybernetics – 3:26
09. Kraftwek D – 2:12
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Deadborn (band)
Deadborn (logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by Apostasy Records.