Released: 2013, Decomp Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Cameron Argon, aka Big Chocolate, has had in fingers in many musical pies in recent years as a DJ, producer, remixer and musician – mostly in the electronic and dubstep realm. But he's done a lot of work with metalcore/noise bands like Suicide Silence and Iwrestledabearonce and cut his teeth in death metal on vocals with Burning The Masses.
Over the last few years, he's headed his own one-man death metal project Disfiguring The Goddess, which released the 2011 full-length Circle of Nine and 2012's EP Sleeper. And while he showed some acumen for brutal death/slam metal, both releases sounded a lot like what they were: experiments. They came off more like mad science projects than fully evolved entities, and though all the ingredients were there, they ended up as Frankenstein's monsters of atonal, single-minded brutality, curious arrangements and needless electronic twiddling masquerading as death metal.
With Deprive, along with its companion Black Earth Child - an unannounced bonus album issued on the same day - Argon seems to have learned from his mistakes, or at least has grown more seasoned and convincing. Where the previous releases were a droning, churning mess of riffs, puked vocals and near tunelessness, Deprive offers genuine - and formidable - death metal songs. There are tempo changes, hooks and crafty structure, and the electronic touches here, as on the punishing opener “The Pathway To Everlasting Nothingness” or “Deaths Head Mask,” add some spice and create intrigue instead of seeming like afterthoughts.
The ethereal Gregorian chanting laid over “Home of the Dollmaker” make an already creepy tune even eerier. And the booming riffs and thumping bottom end of “Industrial Quarter,” and the more manic “Old Man,” make this some of the funkiest death metal you're likely to hear - and I mean that as a compliment.
Argon's vocals and delivery are better fleshed out, as well. Though guttural and still vomitous, they are more discernible and accentuate the music, as opposed to merely being burped over the top in some half-assed attempt to mimic Chris Barnes.
The one big mark against Disfiguring The Goddess this time is a complaint that carries over from before – the utter chintziness of the finished product. At seven songs, Deprive is all of 18-plus minutes. Tack on the bonus Black Earth Child, which inexplicably is longer at 25 minutes, and you've got about what amounts to one standard album - at twice the price. Sleeper and Circle of Nine were only modestly more “generous.” But at least the material and presentation are up to snuff this time.