From the Womb
Like so many unknown death metal acts from the 90's, Germany's Deface released a couple of demos and then disappeared into oblivion. Their first demo, 1995's Silent Coldness, is a very promising, if flawed, debut. This suffers from tons of (ultimately crippling) setbacks, such as a weak production, sloppy musicianship, and mediocre compositions, but underneath all of the blemishes is a young band with an adventurous and admirable attitude. Unfortunately, their second (and final) demo isn't much better, so it's impossible to say if my predictions for a promising future would've come true or not. As it stands, Silent Coldness is a good demo that is marred by quite a few imperfections. People who enjoy melodic death metal that isn't filled with keyboard orchestrations and wimpy riffing will definitely want to give this forgotten demo a shot - I'm glad I did.
Silent Coldness is a mixture of bands like early-In Flames or Edge of Sanity. It's clear that Deface takes a lot of influence from the early Swedish melodeath scene, which was never too common among German extreme metal bands. Silent Coldness is just under the 24 minute mark, which is a pretty great length for a demo. It's not ridiculously short, nor does it drag on longer than it needs to. The first song, "Silent Coldness- ...And It's Autumn", is the best composition here by a long-shot. This is actually an excellent melodic death metal track - it's quite unfortunate that the rest of the demo doesn't quite live up to the expectations set here. The other 3 songs aren't nearly as memorable, although still somewhat competent. The biggest issues lie in the sloppy musicianship and poor production. Although it's clear that Deface is a talented band, the playing is not nearly as tight and precise as it needs to be. Something like this could've easily been solved by a few more takes or overdubs. A more expected issue is the production, which, like most 90's demos, is pretty muddy. It's far from the worst demo-quality production out there, but it's still a bit of an issue.
Although Silent Coldness is a very flawed debut demo, something about it is irresistible and charming. I had a great time listening to this demo despite its setbacks, and I'd recommend that fans of early melodic death metal give this a shot. It's not essential or anything like that, but this shows what a promising act Deface were back in the 90's. Unfortunately, Deface never did live up to the promise they showed on Silent Coldness, as they would disband in a mere two years. Although this demo has its strengths, the most I can give is 2.5 stars due to the muddy production, unpolished musicianship, and occasionally unremarkable compositions.
1. Silent Coldness- .... and it's Autumn
2. Lost in Myself
3. From the Womb