|Origin||Dachsbach, Bavaria, Germany|
|Genres||Technical death metal|
|Past members||A.J. Magana
Defeated Sanity is a German technical death metal band from Dachsbach, Bavaria, that was formed in 1994, originally as a side project of guitarist Wolfgang Teske and his son, drummer Lille Gruber. Gruber is the only original remaining member left in the band, following the departure of Teske in July 2008. The other members are Christian Kühn (guitar), and Jacob Schmidt (bass guitar). For almost a year the band was looking for a new vocalist, due to Jens Staschel leaving the band shortly before Teske; Staschel's replacement, A.J. Magana from Disgorge, was announced in June 2009.
Since their formation, Defeated Sanity has released four studio albums: Prelude to the Tragedy (2004), and Psalms of the Moribund (2007), both through the United Kingdom-based label Grindethic Records; and Chapters of Repugnance (2010) and Passages into Deformity (2013) through Willowtip Records. Defeated Sanity also released numerous promos, demos and splits. Influenced by bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation, their music is mostly based on the American death metal style. On 2 May 2009, the band announced their signing to Willowtip Records.
Defeated Sanity was formed in Dachsbach, Germany in 1994 by guitarist Wolfgang Teske and drummer Lille Gruber, initially as a side project. In 1996, bassist Jonas Gruber and vocalist Robert Colnik joined the band as session musicians. This line-up recorded the first two demos, Devoured by the Black in the same year, followed by Withdrawn from Beauty in 1998. After undergoing a line-up change, Defeated Sanity eventually recruited guitarist Christian Müenzner and bassist Tino Köhler. Colnik departed the band shortly after recording a demo in 2000. He was replaced by Markus Keller, who re-recorded a track from the demo; the track was included on the split with Poppy Seed Grinder, released through the Czech label Grodhaisn in 2001. Later that year, Münzner left the band to join Necrophagist. Defeated Sanity released a 7-inch split EP with Brazilian death metal band Imperious Malevolence through Merciless Records in 2003.
Prelude to the Tragedy
In 2004, Defeated Sanity signed with UK label Grindethic Records to release their full-length debut. The album was recorded at Soundforge Studios in Rhauderfehn, Germany. The band produced the record and Andreas Hilbert handled the engineering and mastering. Prelude to the Tragedy was released in November that same year. The album received mixed reviews. Diabolical Conquest said, "Prelude to the Tragedy is a gleaming chrome harpoon of immaculate technical death metal, deftly interweaving cryptic riff-tangles with convolutional percussive violence to surprisingly comprehensible and utterly enjoyable results. Drumwork, relentless in its complexity, enhances both the progressive and barbaric elements of the tracks, nailing ambitious patterns to them with satisfying snare punch, lucid cymbals and expert fills." Negative criticism of the album was mostly about the higher technical style of their music. Lords of Metal said, "This is only interesting for the real die hard trash (not thrash!) lovers, and mathematicians, of course." To promote the album, the band toured during 2005, appearing at Rotterdam Deathfest (an extreme metal festival in The Netherlands), along with bands such as Suffocation, Visceral Bleeding, and Vomit Remnants.
Psalms of the Moribund and Chapters of Repugnance
Defeated Sanity underwent further line-up changes with Jens Staschel joining on vocals, Christian Kuehn on guitar and Jacob Schmidt filling in on bass. In August 2006, the band recorded their second studio album at Soundlodge Studios. It was produced and engineered by Jörg Ukenand, and mastered by Robbert Kok of Disavowed. In the meantime, Gruber played drums for Austrian blackened death metal band Belphegor on their North American tour with Unleashed and Krisiun. Psalms of the Moribund was released through Grindethic Records in March 2007. Like its predecessor, the album received mixed reviews, with Erik Thomas of webzine Teeth of the Divine saying, "With ultra deep, almost grindcore styled burps layered over complex yet savage riffs, Defeated Sanity, unlike some of their US peers, do manage to throw in some nice grooves and lurches amid the blasting carnage, hence the Suffocation and Devourment comparisons, but otherwise, Psalms of the Moribund is a pretty breakneck assault of squealing, pinch harmonics and ravenous blast beats." Chronicles of Chaos reviewer Kostas Sarampalis criticized the vocal style of Jens Staschel, stating, "The constant low guttural growling is completely unintelligible, used more like a (very blunt) instrument rather than a means to convey lyrics."
The band played at Maryland Deathfest at the Sonar in Baltimore, Maryland in May 2008, along with Anaal Nathrakh and Monstrosity. In July 2008, two members left Defeated Sanity: first Staschel, and shortly afterward Teske. Defeated Sanity brought in vocalist A.J. Magana from Disgorge, who recorded the vocals on the band's third full-length album, Chapters of Repugnance, released through Willowtip Records on 4 May 2010. The album was recorded at Soundforge Studios in Berlin. According to Cosmo Lee of Decibel magazine, Chapters of Repugnance is the first album cover on Willowtip that the printer has refused to print. "It's a so-bad-it's-good Hieronymus Bosch-esque depiction of hell in which everyone is nude and bald." Beginning in late 2015, Defeated Sanity embarked on a headline U.S. tour, performing their first concert shows in the United States since 2008.
Disposal of the Dead / Dharmata
Before the summer of 2016, Defeated Sanity confirmed work on a new release, which is a two part full-length album with one side titled Disposal of the Dead and the other titled Dharmata. These two parts represent two EPs compiled onto a full-length, with each part carrying a sound unique to it.
In late 2016, the band recruited American vocalist Josh Welshman replacing Lühring who departed the following year. Prior to him officially joining, Welshman provided vocals on the band's two US tours, the Obscene Extreme festival as well as other shows in Europe and Indonesia.
Style and influences
Although the band is of German origin, their music is based on the American style of death metal. Drummer Lille Gruber explained, "Blues and rock music was developed in the U.S., that means it all goes back to this country. The roots are there and I think the best musicians will always be there." When asked about the difference in terms of sound and direction between Psalms of the Moribund and Prelude to the Tragedy, Gruber stated, "We got our own style on Psalms to the Moribund where Prelude to the Tragedy had very obvious hints of the bands we idolized. Psalms of the Moribund splits in two extremes, it went more chunky, brutal, thick and deep, but at the same time that math-approach and the technicality went up a lot!"
Defeated Sanity's main influences are the early work of Cannibal Corpse, Immolation, and Suffocation. Gruber also cited newer bands like Disgorge and Devourment as a source of inspiration. Defeated Sanity's lyrics are influenced by Brodequin's "awesome concept". Gruber described the band's lyrics as "dark and brutal", which fit with Defeated Sanity's gore imagery.
- Lille Gruber – drums (1994–present)
- Christian Kühn – guitar (2005–present)
- Jacob Schmidt – bass (2005–present)
- Josh Welshman – vocals (2016-present, touring 2015-2016)
- Konstantin Lühring – vocals (2011–2015)
- A.J. Magana - vocals (2009–2011)
- Jens Staschel – vocals (2004–2008)
- Markus Keller – vocals (2000–2004)
- Robert Colnik – vocals (1998–2000)
- Wolfgang Teske – guitar (1994–2008)
- Christian Müenzner - guitar (1999–2002)
- Tino Köhler – bass (1998–2005)
- Jonas Gruber – bass (1996–1998)
- Prelude to the Tragedy (2004), Grindethic Records
- Psalms of the Moribund (2007), Grindethic Records
- Chapters of Repugnance (2010), Willowtip
- Passages into Deformity (2013), Willowtip
- Disposal of the Dead / Dharmata (2016), Willowtip
- Devoured by the Black (1996)
- Withdrawn from Beauty (1998)
- Prelude to the Tragedy EP (2004)
- Promo 2000 (2000)
- Promo 2005 (2005)
- Promo 2007 (2008)
- Talk Evolution / The Parasite (split with Poppy Seed Grinder) (2002)
- Live in Germany (split with Imperious Malevolence) (2003)
- Cerebric Turmoil / Defeated Sanity (2008)
- Unleashing the Seed of Parricide (4-way split with Venomed, Splattered Orgasm and Moonfog) (2010)
- Collected Demolition (2010), Sick Chainsaw
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- Lee, Cosmo (June 2010). "Incident at 66.6 FM". Decibel. No. 68. p. 84. ISSN 1557-2137.
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- "Defeated Sanity interview". Brutalism. 24 January 2005. Archived from the original on August 29, 2007. Retrieved 30 January 2009.