Being loaded with man flu, the last thing I wanted to do was review a death metal album with a snare drum rattling in my head bursting my eardrums. As any man will tell you, we soldier on though and the time came for me to review De Profundis from London who are about to release their fifth album through ambitious Indian label Transcending Obscurity next month. De Profundis have been around since 2005 and with the release of The Blinding Light of Faith, the band have really pulled out all the stops to ensure that this is the best that they could come up with. De Profundis have maybe taken their time to find their sound that they are comfortable with but if this album is anything to go by, I think they have found it.
The first thing that is apparent is the huge uplift in their sound with definitely their best audio quality album of their career courtesy of Pete Dowsett at Flipside Recording Studios. De Profundis have certainly taken a huge leap in every direction and even could go as far to say that this is their shot at making it and making De Profundis a name to watch. They certainly have had high profile support slots with bands such as David Vincent’s I Am Morbid and Necrophagia.
Opening track “Obsidian Spires” starts off with a technical capability reminiscent of a more death metal Obscura with vocalist Craig having the best performance of his career with De Profundis. All the hard work in the studio rehearsing has clearly paid off and he should be chuffed with his performance on this album as a whole. De Profundis have maintained the length of the songs around the five minute mark but at no time are you feeling like it being a drag. Riffs courtesy of Shoi and Paul can be uplifting one second and down tuned and brutal the next with the song seeming to simply flow, grabbing your attention at all times.
“War Be Upon Him” is where things are turned up a notch and everything is more brutal. Gone are the technical aspects of the first song and I picture the whole band playing with angry faces to this one. De Profundis are not anti- any one religion, they are anti-religion pure and simple and with this track, it is certainly more clear than with others on the album. Drummer and bassist Tom and Aaron respectively keep this tight ship together and I picture them in the studio looking at the guitarists dictating to them when they can be technical and when they can be brutal. This whole band has upped the ante so much and touring with more experienced bands has influenced them in their song writing. This will certainly get the punters in the pit moving.
“Opiate For The Masses” has more of a Swedish influence (Edge of Sanity come to mind) with Craig even sounding like the legend that is Dan Swano throughout the album. Swirling riffs are the order of the day with elements of progressive death metallers Death thrown in the mix. Bassist Aaron gets the chance to show off his talents as a fretless bassist with his first solo reminiscent again of Obscura and Symbolic-era Death. Solos fly in this song and simply uplift the whole track and make this another incredible number. “Bastard Sons of Abraham” starts off and immediately reminds me of one of my favourite bands of all time, dISEMBOWELMENT, with blast beats and intermittent guitar riffs in place. This track again explores the more technical progressive death metal side to the band but you have to admit that this sound is one De Profundis should make their own.
The intro to “Martyrs” has me immediately concerned (you will have to hear for yourselves) before more brutal technical death metal rushes to the fore, with blast beats behind the solos which makes this sound incredible. This again is a track vehemently against religion as a whole, fitting of the brutality that goes with it. “Godforsaken” thankfully starts off with a mellow intro and is certainly the slowest part of the album so far, showcasing Craig’s vocal talents once again. I get more of a classic rock feel in this song and it could even be considered the ballad of the album, but don’t let that fool you, this is certainly still a brutal track reminiscent of the older Swedish scene as it picks up the pace again towards the end.
“Beyond Judgement” begins with blast beats and intense riffs as if to let you know that the previous track will be the only slow part of the album. Final track “Bringer of Light” again leads with a more classic rock feel and spoken word vocals from Craig before the riffs turn nasty once again, bringing back the familiar Swedish death metal influences. The pace quickens immediately again with swirling riffs. De Profundis make it sound so good, again showcasing the tightness of the band.
I will be honest here and admit that I did not think the UK scene has much to offer in terms of death metal and was not rushed into reviewing this album. What I have found here is an album worthy of everyone’s attention if they like their music extreme, technical, intricate and tight. Having a stable line up for the last few years certainly has paid off for De Profundis and puts them at the front of the current UK extreme metal scene.
Support the UK underground and support De Profundis. I dare you to listen to it and disagree with me!!!
The Blinding Light Of Faith is out May 10th via Transcending Obscurity Records