An unexpectedly melodic intro sets the scene for the start of this USDM album by Derogatory. Once this is over it’s straight into the blasting, although this soon tapers off and reveals a band that are capable of varying their speed rather than always going for the most brutal option of smothering everything in blastbeats.
This album is full of Old-School Death Metal in the 90’s US style, and as such you can hear the influence of bands such as Deicide and Morbid Angel being channelled into Above All Else.
Double bass, solos, thick guitars and deep growls pepper this release in all the right places, and the songs are simple-but-effective and provide that Death Metal fix that obsessive fans of the genre crave on a daily basis.
The sound of the album is the main weak spot – it’s perfectly workman-like, but I feel the songs could be allowed to breathe better with a more coherent production. It doesn’t sound bad but it could sound better. Ultimately this doesn’t detract from the songs too much and is more of a “note for next time”.
At 9 tracks and 39 minutes, this is a pleasant romp through 90’s Death Metal that will more than satisfy fans of this genre.