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  • From the first 10 seconds of “Sugar Coated Sour”, I knew this was going to be an intense album. It opens up with screaming vocals over an incredibly odd timed riff. This could be described as extreme hardcore metal punk. About 20 seconds later though, a new riff comes in, reminding me of Return to Forever or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, except way faster, and of course, still with the screaming. Then there’s a brief jazzy interlude, which calms things down for about 15 seconds before cranking the intensity back up to 11. This is a typical DEP song, and a relatively short one also (it’s over in about 2 minutes.)The music, while chaotic, is impossibly intricate and would take seriously talented musicians to play. Don’t be fooled; All the songs may sound the same to someone who has never heard anything like this before, but the details of each are so intricate and fascinating if one takes the time to go through and really listen to each song. I suppose the number one complaint seems to be the vocals. I like them a lot, but I can see how they’d be way too annoying or even painful for some people. It’s non-stop screaming. The guitarists are the highlight for me. When power chords are used, a b5 (flatted five) is sometimes inserted, giving DEP a unique sound in metal. There are loads of heavy riffs and quick fusion-infuenced lines, and little lead licks, but no real solos. However, even without traditional solos, DEP are one of the most complex metal bands. The drummer is disgusting. He’s incredibly fast and intricate, keeping up with the songs like I could never imagine.”43% Burnt” is considered by many to be the best song, and it is excellent. The opening is one of the heaviest sections I’ve heard in any music, but the chords used are not like any other metal band. There’s a jazzy interlude in there that’s technical as hell also. Interesting arpeggios. “Jim Fear”, “Sugar Coated Sour”, “Destro’s Secret” and “Clip the Apex…” are all pretty similar sounding, though again, if you pay attention to detail, you’ll realize the complexities. Aside from the normal technical metal stuff, there’s things that make DEP even more unique. “*#..” starts off quiet, and is basically 2 minutes dedicated to an interesting instrumental build up. There’s that jazz influence again. “The Running Board” continually switches between the intense hardcore screaming sections and mellow, jazzy interludes. The title track gives you a break from the intensity, but not the complexity. Arpeggios and odd time signatures are abundant in this instrumental, and heavy odd timed riffs come in later as well. “4th Grade Dropout” brings us back to the heavier side of DEP. “Weekend Sex Change” is another mellow instrumental, with incredible drumming.This album is not for everyone, but it really is an incredible album if you are looking for something complex, insanely heavy, and thoughtful. Repeated listenings reveal more complexities, so keep on listening. Recommended for fans of Meshuggah, Death, and other technical metal stuff.

    Posted on February 28, 2010