July 07, 2020

Deranged - The Red Light Murder Case (2008)

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Brutal Death Metal
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© 2008 Regain Records
Reviewed By Michael O'Brien for The Metal Forge.com
A backwards step
About 18 months ago I reviewed Deranged's then current album, Obscenities In B-Flat. Though I quite enjoyed the album I finally took the hint and decided that it was time to stop wishing the band would return to their early sound which I still love so much because it was pretty clear that there was no chance this was ever going to happen.
Having made this determination in good faith it seems that I was only deluding myself because the hopes that I'd tried to dispel came rushing back once I held the new album, The Redlight Murder Case, in my hands. So was I being na├â¯ve and hoping against all odds? Yes. Yes I was.
With The Redlight Murder Case Deranged stick very closely to the path they set out on many years ago with the main differences between with this album and its predecessor being a louder and somewhat clearer production and songs that are mainly more up tempo and blast oriented. For my money the material on this album isn't as diverse as that of Obscenities and ultimately suffers as a result with the material managing to sound very samey the majority of the time.
Though Obscenities certainly wasn't a poster child for musical diversity, it did feature enough differentiation between the songs to break the album up a little whereas Redlight has gone for a much faster approach that ends up stifling any attempts by the band to breathe a sense of substantial variety between the tracks. Sure there are breaks here and there in the songs, with some quite effective, but they are fleeting and are dispensed with all too quickly.
As stated, the production and the up beat tempos are the most obvious differentials between this album and its predecessor. There are moments where you can tune out and just enjoy the savage blasting with blissful abandon without so much as a thought to what is going on in the background but, though a nice feature to have, a good album this does not make. Without a range of interesting compositions, great production and all out blasting means nothing.
I still hold out hope that Deranged can release a truly killer album sometime in the future. There are hints of their ability scattered throughout The Redlight Murder Case, but these abilities are underutilised. They will have to work on diversifying their compositions a lot more for me to sit up and take more than a glancing note of their achievements. Obscenities In B-Flat came close to achieving this but sadly Redlight has taken a backwards step.
Maybe my judgement is clouded because I still have a love for the old Deranged, but the path that the band are taking is one that I am struggling to follow. I feel let down by this release because, quite frankly, there are plenty of other death metal albums out there that do for me what I hoped and expected this album to do as well.
I suspect that The Redlight Murder Case will appeal only to either die hard Deranged fans, or those that aren't already intimately familiar with the band's back catalogue. The rest of us will simply shrug our shoulders and utter a collective “meh”.

tags: deranged, the red light murder case, 2008, flac,