This old school death metal revival that’s been going on for a few years is great. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I can’t stand what passes for death metal these days, and you’re probably sick of hearing about it. On that note, let me tell you a little bit about Deserted Fear. These Teutonic death metal warriors formed in 2007 and released a demo in 2010. Without any hesitation, the band advanced onto recording their debut album, My Empire, which has just been unleashed unto the world.

Forgoing the constant blasting and grinding and technical flashiness of modern death metal, the songs here stick to a more primitive sound. Not unlike a caveman, riffs will slowly bludgeon to death anything that offers resistance, increasing tempo when necessary as a savage coup de grâce. Or to put it less metaphorically, they root their sound in the often slow, heavy type of death metal like Obituary and Asphyx (with shades of Bolt Thrower thrown in for good measure). Hell, the vocalist could pass as the result of a bizarre scientific experiment that attempted to merge John Tardy and Martin van Drunen into a single entity. With that said, DF is pretty far from being a banal copycat band—there are too many speed oriented riffs to really sink to the doomy depths into which Asphyx plunged and their songs are more structured than Obituary’s morbid meanderings. If I may contradict myself for a brief moment, they also have a very slight modern tinge to their songwriting, which further separates them from their antecedents.

As for the songs themselves, there is plenty of wicked goodness to be found here. After the intro, the album kicks into gear with “The Battalion of Insanities”, commanding all in its presence to bang their fucking heads. It’s without a doubt the strongest song on the album. After such a great high, things can only go down from there. And they do, if only slightly. Things do get a little samey after a while, but the album never veers off into monotony. But right when you think the album is about to, the band kicks the listener in the head with the Celtic Frost inspired opening riff of “Field of Death.” The rest of the song is awesome too, and the two tracks after that close things out well.

As far as debut albums go, this is a strong effort. Sure, the band still shows some signs of immaturity in their songwriting but I sense a lot of promise here. I’ll be keeping my eye on these guys.