Here on the unlucky 13th day of September the Canadian two-man wrecking machine known as Deformatory have returned to visit new death metal ruination on a pathetic world with a new EP named Harbinger. To help announce the EP, Deformatory are presenting it in its entirety as a music video that we have the ghastly pleasure of premiering down below.
This makes the fourth premiere we’ve hosted on behalf of Deformatory going back to 2015, including the video for a song off their mind-mauling 2021 album Inversion of The Unseen Horizon. We’ll crib some of our words from that premiere feature, because they’re still relevant as a harbinger of Harbinger:
“Driven by the mad weaponry of drummer Neil Grandy‘s almost relentless double-kick barrage and the rabid monstrosity of Charlie Leduc‘s cavernous bellowing, the song is a non-stop attack of mind-mutilating, pulse-pumping savagery. Leduc unleashes a plethora of macabre riffs and mutated leads, creating a multitude of frightening yet electrifying sensations, none of which are connected to a sane mind…. The whole thing is breathtaking in its careening and cavorting violence. You get caught up in the slipstream and carried away”.
The new EP is a four-track, roughly 15-minute, audio vortex of vitriol and violence. It may not be entirely accurate to call the EP a “concept record”, but in their lyrics all four tracks portray horrific and blasphemous tales of plague and inhuman predation. As for the music, let’s initially defer to what the band themselves say:
“Every song, every riff, and every beat writhes through its own iterations to devour the listener beyond this EP’s 15-minute runtime. Make no mistake: these are 15-minutes you will never get back and you will never recover from. The sheer energy your soul requires to withstand this offering of musical violence will render your very core into a depleted version of itself.”
Audacious words, those, but this duo do their damnedest to back them up.
Across these four new tracks the intensity is almost unwavering. “Plagueworm” kicks off the attack with a furiously paced barrage of maniacal drumming, feverishly frenzied riffing, and gargantuan growls. There are sharply timed breaks in tempo and variations in the drumwork obliteration, and the riffing speedily twists and turns as well, revealing a technical acumen that’s impressive. But the feeling of being caught in a spinning tornado of madness and mayhem never goes away. Moreover, a wild and wailing lead guitar comes in near the end to create an atmosphere of supernatural calamity.
From there Deformatory rampage through the remaining three-tracks. “Corpseborn” blares and blazes, accented by weirdly darting and screaming fretwork and a crazed solo, capped by doses of chugging, head-hammering groove. It’s another sign of the band’s talent for packing a hell of a lot of variation into their infliction of ruthless punishment, creating an audio kaleidoscope of catastrophe.
Lest you think that Deformatory are wholly wedded to furious pacing, the stupefying drums vanish at the outset of “Sunrot“, yielding to an introductory segment that’s an eerie portrayal of misery and hopelessness. And then… and then madness reigns again, drums firing in stunning fusillades, guitars veering and vaulting with abandon, the guttural vocals roaring in a bestial fury. It becomes another eye-popping display of exultant technical fireworks, reaching a breathtaking zenith with an insane fret-melter of a solo and a lead-guitar paroxysm at the end that sucks all the oxygen from the room.
With “Dustcult“, Deformatory save the longest track for last. It flies at jet-propelled speeds, just as stunningly destructive and maddened in its variations as anything else on the EP, but it also includes a haunting melodic break where the guitar rings in agony and then soars in a stunning fireburst of pain, as well as a darting riff that gets the pulse pumping, soon joined by a stunning extended guitar solo that brings paranormal visions to life.
The video through which the band present Harbinger is just as disorienting and frightening as the music. You get to see the two performers in action, but the imagery repeatedly shivers and convulses as the camera rapidly cuts back and forth, interspersed with micro-second flares of malign pestilential imagery. And if nothing else, it provides some proof that even though Deformatory sound like a demonic battalion, there’s only two of them responsible for all the destruction. It’s also a thoroughly convincing sign that those two put on a hell of a live show.
Well, enough with the words. We’ll leave you to experience Harbinger for yourselves. Fill your lungs with oxygen, because you’ll need as much of it as you can get.
Harbinger was recorded, mixed, mastered, and more by Topon Das (Fuck The Facts) at Apartment 2 Recording Studio in Ottawa, ON, Canada. The macabre (and instantly recognizable) cover art was created by the maestro Paolo Girardi, and the equally distinctive UK artist Adrian Baxter contributed additional artistic creations.