DEFORMITY, Repulsions of War (1992, demo)

The skull:
At first glance, I thought I had another trepanned skull on my hands, but the cracks around the hole, not to mention the title, strongly suggest it’s a bullet hole. Which is fine. At least he died quick. Of course, had he held out a little longer, he could die even quicker when that swastigrenade goes off. I guess the black outline is supposed to suggest the helmeted soldier who used to carry this skull around, but it kind of looks like Velma from Scooby Doo is trying to hide behind the skull. She’s pretty repulsive, I guess, but not particularly warlike, even if her name is very Germanic sounding.

The music:
This was recorded in 1992 at Sunlight Studios in Stockholm, so you can pretty much already imagine exactly what it sounds like, although in addition to the obvious influence of their countrymen, I hear a not-insignificant amount of Bolt Thrower here as well (particularly on the title track and “In Fear”), which is certainly a welcome addition to the mix. The singer basically splits the difference between LG Petrov and John Liiva, which is to say he sounds pretty bad-ass. Obviously, we at Skull HQ complain tirelessly about unoriginal bands, but the truth is, when it comes to this early Swedish death metal, we’re pretty much always game, no matter how much it sounds like everything else that came out of that scene from 1989 to 1992, and even then, Deformity is exceptionally cool. Better than Desultory for sure. They don’t quite rise to Nirvana 2002 level cult status, but they’re quite good and worth hearing if you like this shit.
— Friar Johnsen