Depleted – Wretched Decay (Review)

Depleted - Wretched DecayDepleted is a one-man death/doom band from the US and this is his latest demo.

We first met Depleted in 2018 with Conjurations of Void, and it impressed with its virulent underground nastiness. On this new release we are (mis)treated to 31 minutes of horror and despair. It may not be pleasant, but it is damn good.

The music is lonesome and twisted, and even the sparse clean guitar that starts off the opening title track reeks of lonely corruption and decay. As soon as the malignant noise enters, this feeling of wrongness is only increased. From there, across all of the tracks, mournful melodies and slow, despairing leads paint bleak pictures of devastated landscapes strewn with empty hopelessness. This music is not purely about glacial speeds, however, and faster sections appear too. These are still imbued with darkness and negativity, and occasionally have a blackened hue that was less apparent on Conjurations of Void.

In addition to the title track, each song here is also strong. Field of Projection has a highly engaging energy to it, reeking of grim emotive content as it belligerently tramples the weak beneath its death metal-powered weighty doom. Shrinking Ouroboros probably has the loneliest motif of them all, with an almost traditional doom metal lead, albeit one buried in darkness. The final track is Dead Memory, a noise-infused journey into grim harshness, punctuated by vile screams and squealing feedback.

Wretched Decay may only be a demo, and a distinctly underground one at that, but it has further impressed with its quality. A fully-formed debut album, if/when one appears, will hopefully be something quite special.

Very highly recommended.

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