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Debauchery – Cranial Indulgence (Re-issue)

Cranial Indulgence (Re-issue)
by Thomas Kumke at 14 March 2023, 4:06 AM

DEBAUCHERY were one of the early Death Metal bands from Wendell, North Carolina. They existed only from 1989 to 1994 and during that time they released one demo as cassette tape. This demo “Cranial Indulgence” was now re-released on CD. It was originally recorded and engineered by John Snead and Jeff Fischer, now mixed at ITM Recording Studio, and mastered at Dead Air Studio. The demo has a length of about 23 minutes, and it was released via North Carolina label Vargheist Records, which has a track record in Black Metal and Grindcore.

There were a few Death Metal bands called DEBAUCHERY over the years. Perhaps one of the best-known bands are German Death Metal icons DEBAUCHERY, but one of the earliest bands were the North Carolina outfit. Their life span lasted only five years and their releases are limited to one demo only, but 30 years later, it has been re-released. There are only four tracks, and the Death Metal assault opens with “Distrayed Dischordial Harmonies”, a hammering raw track spitting out anger and aggression. The guitar riffing is very simple and direct, and so are the lead guitar solos during the track. The whole sound is unfinished, and it seems clear why DEBAUCHERY never made it to any full-length release. The vocals of DEBAUCHERY are somehow unique as three of the four members contribute to the vocals. Brent Smith sings the guttural and mid-range vocals, Andy Pitre is responsible for the high range vocals, and drummer John Snead performs the low range vocals.

Quarantine” starts with an extended instrumental part at mid-tempo with sharp and aggressive riffing. There are a few tempo and rhythm changes switching between fast pace and mid-tempo parts, and likewise the mid-range and high-range vocals alternate accordingly. “Quarantine” is also a very simple and direct song, but has a much better quality than the opener. “Dunes Of A Fallow Field” continues with raw sound and most parts of the track are played either at down-tempo or at a frantic speed. The slow parts sound doom-laden including the lead guitar solo during the middle part of the track. Focus is put on the different vocal contributions, with the high range vocals sticking out a bit. Overall, “Dunes Of A Fallow Field” sounds very unfinished with different bits and pieces here and there. The EP ends with “Labyrinth Of The Arachne” and this one of the better songs on the release. The guitar riffing is tight, the bass is crushing, and the drumming is a bit more comprehensive compared to the other tracks of the release. Unfortunately, there is an overemphasis on the vocals, which almost ruins the song. Highlight is the lead guitar solo which contributes very well to the track.

Cranial Indulgence” is a demo that was surely a decent one in 1993. It shows the ideas of a young band at the time and for several reasons the band never made it. The Death Metal sound of North Carolina’s DEBAUCHERY was not very much different from that what came out at the time from the US. Does anyone need this re-release 30 years later? I am not sure. Perhaps a few die-hard Death Metal fans, who collect forgotten releases, will enjoy it.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 2
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Distrayed Dischordial Harmonies
2. Quarantine
3. Dunes Of A Fallow Field
4. Labyrinth Of The Arachne
Brent Smith – Guitars, Vocals
Andy Pitre – Guitars, Vocals
John Snead – Drums, Vocals
Henrik Dahlstrand – Bass
Record Label: Cave Dweller Productions


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