Ugliness Revealed

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Death metal's cult following isn't limited to countries in which English is the primary language. A ton of death metal/black metal and grindcore bands have been based in the Scandinavian countries, and death metallers have also come from places that range from Germany to Brazil. Japan is the home of Defiled, a death metal/black metal/grindcore outfit that goes for maximum brutality on Ugliness Revealed. Recorded in 1999 and released in the United States in 2001, this CD shows Defiled to be every bit as bone-crushing as its U.S., Latin American, and European counterparts. Defiled has the usual death metal trademarks -- insanely fast tempos, very dark lyrics, and a choked, demonic-sounding vocal style. Although Defiled comes from a country in which Japanese is the primary language, all of the songs on Ugliness Revealed are in English. But that fact is almost irrelevant because the vocal style makes the lyrics difficult or impossible to understand. Not that any death metal moshers would stay away from this album because they can't make out the lyrics -- death metal fans are more interested in musical intensity than lyrics, and Ugliness Revealed is the sort of ferociously intense effort that could easily bring a mosh pit to life. To its credit, Defiled is more recognizable than most death metal bands. The Japanese moshers are better musicians than most death metallers, and at times they almost sound like progressive rock musicians who somehow ended up playing death metal. Nonetheless, this CD does have its limitations -- by the third or fourth track, listeners have pretty much heard it all. One hopes that Defiled will do more challenging work in the future, but even so, this CD is among death metal's more noteworthy releases -- limitations and all.

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