To call Prelude to The Tragedy “brutal” is an understatement, though lighter in production than its successors, it is still just as, if not more uncompromising, musically. The opening track “Liquifying Cerebral Hemispheres” – an unnervingly accurate name – wastes no time in conveying its memo.
Defeated Sanity – Prelude To The Tragedy
The clichés of modern brutal death such as horrible torture-porn samples are almost entirely absent, and the listener is immediately and unwaveringly assaulted with heavily syncopated riffs and drum patterns for a solid half hour. As you’ve probably guessed, the album is fairly inaccessible, and requires your undivided attention and many repeat listens to be fully appreciated. Things such as hooks, solos and even breakdowns are sparsely incorporated, leaving very little for the uninitiated to grapple onto. Tracks such as “Horrid Decomposition” bring the overall tempo down a notch, and feature more predictable riff patterns. This allows a very scantbreathing space so as not to reduce the listener to a vegetable, but the overall “can’t hack it, get out of the cesspool” approach is maintained for the vast majority of the album’s duration.
Since releasing Prelude to The Tragedy, Defeated Sanity have gone on to become as much of a universally respected act as the genre limitations will allow. It isn’t difficult to understand why they’re considered among the fore-runners of their craft, containing substance but still utilising brutality in droves. Prelude to The Tragedy may have gone largely unappreciated in light of the band’s more accomplished records, but it is still a landmark album that demonstrated what can be done within a genre that is now being brought down to its knees.
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