Disfiguring The Goddess
02. Queen Kingdom
03. Daughter of Depths
04. Lady Epicenter
05. Vines of Aftermath
07. Ocean Tomb
Slamming brutal death metal is probably the most hit or miss genre that one can come across in the realm of extreme music. Like deathcore pitch shifted down a handful of steps, the sonic experience of the genre is the aural equivalent of being hit in the side of the head with a hammer. The music is quite esoteric in general and it is certainly not for everyone, as the genre pushes the boundaries for how brutal death metal can ultimately go. The genre’s trademark gutteral vocal style and affinity for breakdowns leaves the door wide open for a lot of truly vapid music to come staggering through, as we’ve seen with the embarrassing Waking the Cadaver. However, there are artists out there who can swing low and still write memorable songs; when I first heard Abominable Putridity earlier this year, I thought they were as ridiculously catchy as slam could get. That is, until I heard Disfiguring the Goddess‘ latest offering, Sleeper.
Sleeper comes from what one would initially assume to be quite the unlikely source. The one-man band is masterminded by 21-year-old Cameron Argon — or as he is most famously known, electronic producer Big Chocolate. Without proper context, an electronic artist making brutal death metal would be a head-scratcher, but on initial listen it all becomes clear; the mechanical and highly compressed sound and programmed drums rely on much of the same software, and the overall songwriting style would lend itself easily to electronic music. Not to mention Big Chocolate being a fairly prolific remixer in the world of metal.
What makes Disfiguring the Goddess’ Sleeper differ from its peers stems from Argon’s roots as an electronic artist. Ambient pads, samples, and synth leads come in spades and make Sleeper feel alive and memorable. Low grooving riffs are cool and all, but without any sort of dynamic range and variance in tone, slam can become fatiguing in seconds. This is where Argon truly excels, as there is never a dull moment in Sleeper‘s 20-minute runtime. The climax of ‘Queen Kingdom‘ for example feels epic with the grooving chugging and the synth choir backing, and the arps in ‘Daughter of Depths’ acts as an infectious hook that really ties the track together.
While the production has improved a bit since last year’s Circle of Nines, the production on Sleeper still seems a bit odd, initially. It’s certainly a unique mix, but it rides that fine line between acceptable and terrible. Once the musical content is able to take root in your mind, this becomes less of an issue and isn’t so noticeable. However, it still may be a turn-off for some listeners who hold production in high regard.
Whether intentional or not, Argon is furthering the accessibility and experimentation of extreme music. Calling music like this ‘forward thinking’ and ‘progressive’ may or may not be a stretch considering its very nature is intended do be a primal catharsis, but what Sleeper does have is broad appeal. Fans of slam will love Sleeper, and those who otherwise can’t stand the genre now have a suitable gateway. Whether or not Disfiguring the Goddess is meant as a joke is irrelevant; Argon has stumbled upon genius regardless.
Disfiguring the Goddess – Sleeper gets…