Addicted to the Chair
Released: 2001, Independent
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos
Where the hell is Madras, Oregon? Well, nowhere really, if you’re used to the bright lights, big city kind of life. If you’ve ever seen the farm fields, battered pick-up trucks and grazing cattle of Madras, you might think it even more strange that such a place spawned such a solid, catchy death metal band. But Desolation definitely deliver the goods on par with any death band from SoCal, Bay Area or even Tampa. They may be from a tiny farming town in central Oregon, but somehow Desolation have managed to play the Whisky in L.A., tour with Deicide, appear in an upcoming independent movie, and sell out an entire printing of one previous CD. Oh, yeah, and somehow they got time to record this kick-ass album.
ADDICTED TO THE CHAIR is an all-around fun disc from a band that is pretty comfortable doing meat-and-potatoes, non-experimental death metal. Lest you think this must mean they’re one of the bland-as-butter death metal clones that abounded in the early 90s, think again. From the first track, “Casting Forward,” you can tell this band came out of the late 90s, probably owing more to a fusion of the newer style thrash (think early Skinlab before they went mallcore), newer-model “catchy” death metal like Six Feet Under, and some good old-fashioned heavy riffage that never went out of style. Everything here moves with a steady and accessible rhythm. The drumming of skinsman Mike Boynton is the spine that everything hangs on, and upon repeated listens it’s the drumming you start to notice the most. Vocalist Billy Boynton sings with much more of a thrash than a traditional death metal style. He does not venture into “Cookie Monster” territory, which may be refreshing depending on your taste in death metal vox. Standout tracks are “Murder One,” “Sickness Dreams” and the title track, which apparently refers to tattoo addiction. If you’ve ever seen the ink on these guys in person you know that, insofar as that goes, they know what they’re talking about!
The four guys in this band--who are all related to each other, I might add--aren’t trying to be Death, they aren’t trying to sell out arenas or make top ten lists, and they aren’t trying to knock your socks off with the greatest metal album of all time. Their sound smacks of a group of down-to-earth guys trying to get together to have fun and play metal. If you listen to ADDICTED TO THE CHAIR with that ethos in mind, you’ll come away agreeing that they easily accomplished their goal. Simple, good-hearted fun. Thank Satan there’s still a place for that in the metal scene, and there are still bands out there like Desolation who have the guts to deliver it.