Deranged - _The Red Light Murder Case_
(Regain Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8 out of 10)
Hands up anyone who thinks that this idea has failure written all over it: a band, who for the best part of six albums have regularly dipped their toes into the divide between unexceptional and outright risible, producing a concept album about killing prostitutes. Nevermind adding another title to an already grossly overcrowded sub-genre, the very suggestion is tawdry enough to make me want to dismiss this purely on principal.

Yet, despite every indication to the contrary _The Red Light Murder Case_ turns out not only to be Deranged's finest hour, but a damn fine death metal record full stop. Benefiting from an infinitely less muddy production than its two most recent predecessors, this is an album forged from a very pronounced love of Slayer and Autopsy, and the collision between old and modern is tantamount to the record's appeal.

"Gently Before She Dies" is both at once vicious and catchy, boasting a mid-song breakdown that could easily been culled from John "Dying Fetus" Gallagher's playbook. On "Watch Me When I Kill" the Swedes prove themselves as adept at tearing their way through a wind-tunnel guitar solo as Hanneman and King. But it's on the album's penultimate track that Deranged wipe away any doubt that they've created perhaps one of the year's most pleasant surprises. Either that, or my standards aren't what they once were.


(article published 3/2/2008)

5/29/2003 J Montague 4 Deranged - Plainfield Cemetery
8/12/2001 M Noll 7.5 Deranged - Deranged
12/9/1999 D Rocher 8 Deranged - III
11/19/1998 A Bromley 7 Deranged - High on Blood
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