Deafen – 1991 EP – 61%

Band info here:

Conflicted starts with an acoustic intro that sounds like it goes in and out of tuning, but it’s well played. It has a slight Egyptian sound to it. After that, a mid-paced thrasher begins. The first thing I notice is the lack of punch in the production. Headbanging ensues about 3 minutes into the song, because that riff seriously rules. Different story when the vocals start. The puny reciting of “Is this a nightmare? Is this a dream? Why did this happen to me?” or something like that revokes most redeeming qualities this song had up to this point. The drumming turns to shambles and sounds like a guy relatively bored with his bandmates, so he just kind of sits there and plays along. It took them 6 minutes, but finally, we have some solos. But that’s all they are. They’re just solos. They aren’t particularly good, but they aren’t bad either. A minute after hearing them, I can’t even remember what they sounded like. This song drags on for almost 8 minutes.

The oddly titled Graveyard Birthday has more open string thrash, and is the best song on here. Understandable, considering it’s the shortest song. About a minute in, this song sinks into Pantera-dom and then pulls right out with….AN AWESOME SOLO?! Where did that come from? It’s like Chris Poland on PCP! Solid fucking thrash.

The Leading to a Fall starts off with something Armored Saint wrote. The full on thrash at 0:42 is pretty damn awesome though. That’s the only cool part in the song however, as it turns into Deafen simply going through the motions. Again, we’re stuck with shitty vocals that remind me of a lower-range Jimmy Hamilton of Intruder. Where Jimmy succeeds, Jan Loeffen fails. Remember that awesome thrash riff at 0:42? How could you not? It’s the only thing they’ve been playing. I guess the riffs have some variation, but it’s not enough toconstitute a good song.

The intro to the final track, Prophecy of Mort-Main, can best be described as a happy Holy Moses. The overall noodle is straight from Panic, right down to the similar drums. As with most rip-offs, it’s not as competent. They have a breakdown at 2:00 where I can see 40 people moshing in my mind. Only 40 because this band is pretty obscure.

Deafen’s EP is simply okay. It has some decent riffs, some alright solos, and annoying vocals. Most of the time, it sounds like they aren’t quite sure what they’re trying to accomplish. 56/100


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