Over the course of three brutally good full-length albums, Germany’s Deserted Fear have become the country’s brightest death metal hopeful. With new album, Drowned by Humanity, on offer, the Thuringia-based trio are readying to not just take over their home country but to expand their brand of groove-laden, energetic death metal around the globe.
Formed in 2007, Deserted Fear embarked on a quiet but deadly campaign to define their sound. After three years of reconfiguring and arming their war machine, the principals of Deserted Fear—Manuel ‘Mahne’ Glatter (vocals; guitars), Fabian Hildebrandt (guitars), Simon Mengs (drums)—released Demo 2010 to much acclaim in the underground. Death metal maniacs immediately related to Deserted Fear’s down-tuned horror, but it was Germany-based independent F.D.A. Records that offered terrifying troika an label deal. Two years later, Deserted Fear and death metal legend Dan Swanö produced the band’s debut album, My Empire (2012). Immediately, fans and press alike rabidly praised the band’s uncompromising, explosive blend of classic Swedish and old-school American death metal. The rocket-like rise to the top was nearly complete on follow-up album, Kingdom of Worms (2014). With Swanö again at the helm (for mixing and mastering), Deserted Fear’s road to victory was ensured. In seven short years, east-central Germany went from quiet and picturesque to war-torn and ruled by the dominance of Deserted Fear.
“We grew into this,“ says Fabian Hildebrandt. “We started it all and then had to give one hundred percent to continue it. This whole thing is like a child, nothing else,” adds Manuel ‘Mahne’ Glatter.
Glatter’s simile “like a child” refers to Deserted Fear’s natural growth pattern not their brawny death metal. Through hard work and dedication, the Germans crafted two full-length albums and with them they built a dedicated and sizable following. That’s when Century Media Records volleyed a shot over Deserted Fear’s headquarters. In 2016, Deserted Fear signed a new multi-album deal with Century Media, and straightaway commenced work on the follow-up to Kingdom of Worms. Produced by the band at their own Eisensound Studio and again mixed by Swanö, Dead Shores Rising shattered all previous Deserted Fear milestones. On the strength of videos for “Face Our Destiny” and the title track, Dead Shores Rising (2017) machined gunned the German Album Charts, entering at #41. Tours with labelmates Heaven Shall Burn, Deathrite, and peers Mantar followed, along with appearances on MTV’s Headbangers Ball Tour, at Germany’s Rock Harz Open Air and Czech Republic’s world-famous Brutal Assault Festival.
Deserted Fear didn’t rest on their laurels. The Germans didn’t go into hibernation mode. And certainly, Glatter, Hildebrandt, and Mengs weren’t going to phone in the follow-up to the red-hot savagery of Dead Shores Rising. Deserted Fear had too much riding on their swift and incisive conquests of their homeland to stop the treads of war, the guns of doom now. They were on a roll—engineered entirely through blood, sweat, and perseverance—and the members of Deserted Fear knew it. They wrote new groove-bruiser Drowned By Humanity to continue the onslaught. Produced by mercenary Henrik Udd (At the Gates, Miasmal) at Studio Fredman, Drowned By Humanity posits Deserted Fear at the very top of the Germany—no, European!—death metal heap. Moored by tracks such as “All Will Fall,” “An Everlasting Dawn,” and “Sins from the Past,” but blasted forward by tracks such as “The Final Chapter,” “Welcome to Reality,” and “Sins from the Past,” Drowned By Humanity is the pinnacle of violent yet unforgettable death metal, the kind that only comes across once or twice in a generation.
With nothing but the husks of stalled or failed experiments at their feet and the promise of the bright horizon ahead, Deserted Fear have nowhere else to go but forward on Drowned By Humanity. In just over a decade, the Germans have battled demons personal and professional, destroyed walls constructed purposefully to slow down their ambition and drive, and signed a significant label deal. They’re fighters, warriors of a new generation. As with Demo 2010 all those years ago so too with Drowned By Humanity. Glatter, Hildebrandt, and Mengs’ tenacity is just as significant as Deserted Fear’s ability to write uncommonly catchy yet massively heavy death metal on Drowned By Humanity. Allegiance or death…Hail Deserted Fear!