Defect Designer - Neanderthal (EP)
Transcending Obscurity
Death Metal, Grind
7 songs (18:17)
Release year: 2022
Official Bandcamp, Transcending Obscurity
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Siberia by way of Oslo, death purveyors Defect Designer play a brutal and unrefined form of the genre that is odd enough to live up to their name. It's not especially experimental but is technical and well-played, yet the overwhelming takeaway is the bluntness and heaviness of Neanderthal, the band's first studio output since 2015's Ageing Accelerator. There's a fair amount of grindcore influence in Defect Designer's broad mix of styles, making for songs that lean towards the shorter, sharper end of the spectrum with just one track present going over four minutes in length. Much of the impact is thanks to the production, which initially seems quite raw and downright brickwalled but with a little adjustment shows itself to be more thought-out, separating the instruments a little to allow the jangly bass room to manoeuvre for instance.

Even with a more refined mix this would be heavy stuff, however. The opening title track is all lunkheaded groove, a dementedly intense battering a la old-school Cannibal Corpse before shifting to a widdly technicality, soon returning to the caveman heaviness. And although the likes of Wrinkles gesture wildly at something more cerebral with a stop-start riff it soon launches into a galloping stomper that is equally clearly verging on the progressive and clearly not quite willing to leave the heaviness behind to achieve it. The sheer amount of content packed into the two and a half minute Trolls, driven as much by the bass as the demented guitar lines, is simply remarkable, as is the derangedly danceable Luddites, throwing in plenty of widdly soloing behind the grinding bluntness of the track itself.

It's as though Defect Designer are working out this whole death metal business as they go along rather than following in the paths of the Deaths that came before - and that's before odd little moments like the squealing of Pigsty or the jagged insanity of Time Forward, the one piece on the EP that truly feels like it belongs in the progressive realm. Where Defect Designer will go after this probably not even they know, but in the meantime Neanderthal is a refreshingly unrefined slice of extreme metal that will please the ears of any death metalhead.

Killing Songs :
Wrinkles, Luddites, Time Forward
Goat quoted no quote
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