De Profundis - The Emptiness Within

Posted on Thursday, November 07, 2013

This LP was actually released in Europe last year, but didn’t get an official U.S. release until June 2013. Whether the additional wait for this was worth it depends largely upon whether or not you like Progressive Death Metal. Personally, I’m not big on Progressive Metal in general. There are a few bands that I like, but for the most part, I avoid this stuff like it was infested with the Ebola virus. Someone told me that this band was good and that the songs didn’t degenerate into rampant navel-gazing wankerdom, so I decided to check it out. In short, the person who told me those lies is going to get an ass kicking. The Emptiness Within is exactly what I think of when I hear the words “Progressive Death Metal” and that’s not good. Every song is an exercise in overly complex, anti-memorable song structures. If there’s one unforgettable riff on this entire album, I must’ve missed it amidst the sea of mind-numbingly overwrought music here. My first clue that this LP was going to be painful to listen to was when I noticed that the bassist made a point of saying that he played fretless bass. If someone makes a point of telling you that they play fretless bass, that person is a wanker. A fretless bass sounds no different than a regular bass guitar. It just has no frets on the neck of the guitar to tell you where the individual notes are. It’s more impressive if you’re a musician, but if you’re just a music fan, it’s literally meaningless. The only bassists worse than that are the ones that play a six-string bass - because a regular four-string bass guitar just isn’t fucking good enough. I imagine that the worshippers of Dream Theater will find tons of stuff on this LP to positively drool over, but frankly, I don’t listen to music in order to analyze the songs for technical points and nuance. I want Death Metal to kick my ass. I want memorable riffs and songs that make my head bang. De Profundis has fallen into the same trap that many makers of video games get ensnared by. They get caught up in the technical aspects, and much like video game makers who create games that are technically brilliant but no fun to play, De Profundis has created an LP that may be technically brilliant, but it’s no fun to listen to. If you listen to an LP for creative picking techniques or oddball song structures, you will probably like this. If you want good Death Fucking Metal that kicks your ass and breaks your neck, look elsewhere.

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