With Passages Into Deformity, old fans may be pleased to hear they haven't lost any of their vitriol, but for new listeners there be little to distinguish between Defeated Sanity and the swathe of other black metal bands currently doing the rounds, and even less reason.
Admittedly the band has stepped it up in terms of the overall production, and while it's hardly a colourful spectrum of new sounds, it does lend some weight to their traditional approach to the black metal genre. You could also argue that a 'colourful' repertoire is hardly a necessity with a black metal band, and you would be right. It's just a shame that Defeated Sanity have only really improved one defining characteristic, that being their already impressive guitar-wielding abilities.
The album comes with the Defeated Sanity old-school vibe thanks to it's early ‘90s hardcore inspired snare and the stripped down riffs. There's less bass behind the riffs this time around however, and it lends Passages Into Deformity a more urgent, homemade tone. That being said, Defeated Sanity still can't get away from the fact that, while an evolution from their 2010 effort Chapters of Repugnance, this is nothing new. The songs are basically just an exercise in thrashing, with little to no focus on pushing boundaries.
The highpoint of Passages is the caustic, fret-smashing 'Naraka', impressively retrained as far as Defeated Sanity go. Some of the other tunes aren't bad, but again that's assuming you like a very particular brand of black metal. 'Perspectives' provides the most intense platform for the bands abilities, but to be honest if you're still listening after nine tracks of this you should probably take a long lie down in a padded room before you start torching churches.
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