One of the funnier interview questions I've seen was asked of German brutal death metallers Defeated Sanity: "Why are movies on German TV not subtitled? It is so irritating to hear Robert De Niro speak German." The answer: "I don't know. I guess most Germans are too stupid/lazy to learn the English language."

Stoned then Defiled
Engorged with Humiliation

Which, to paint with a broad brush, is so true. "Everyone in Germany speaks English" is a big myth. When I lived there, I found that maybe 30% of the populace could converse in English. Not that that's a negative - I was the one causing problems by not learning the native language - but it didn't make life fun.

ESL + metal = fun, though, and Psalms of the Moribund (Grindethic, 2007) is case in point. This is "big words" metal, with song titles like "Fatal Self Inflicted Disfigurement," "Engorged with Humiliation," and "Arousal through Punishment." From native English speakers, these would either be jokes or displays of severe intellectual insecurity.

From non-native speakers, though, they're fucking funny. At first, I thought "Stoned then Defiled" meant "I'll get you high, then fling poo at you." Turns out the song is quite smart, addressing the scapegoating of rape victims in religiously oppressive societies. No doubt it's the only song ever written with the line, "Several blunt objects begin landing on your cranium." Man, I love death metal.

Suffocation is a big influence here, especially in the Terrance Hobbs-style machine gun breaks. Devourment's down-tuned brutal style is also evident. Heavy, half-time passages contrast nicely with the blasting throughout. During these slower parts, the drums explore some cool, off-kilter accents. The bass is warm, full, and given to quirky, Cryptopsy-esque excursions. Damned if I can tell these songs apart, but their execution is impeccable.

Bonus points for naming the band after my dominant mental state. (Actually, the name comes from Japanese death metallers Defiled.) The Jon Zig-designed logo is sick, too. You can find Psalms at Grindethic and Unique Leader.