Each time Defeated Sanity releases a new album it's like underground death metal gets a collective boner that perks up to see how high they set the bar again. This was especially true with Psalms of the Moribund which was leaps and bounds ahead of their debut Prelude to the Tragedy. With Chapters of Repugnance they went balls out brutal, it went to 11 on all levels, they even had famed Disgorge (US) vocalist AJ Magana on board. To put it simply, it was a monster and made me salivate for more.

The band is now on their 4th full length, 2nd for Willowtip Records. They're also on their 5th vocalist (3rd in as many albums). This time they have Koni of Despondency notoriety on board. He has big shoes to fill considering who was on the last album. Right off the bat he is belting it out and any apprehension the listener had in that regard should subside. Being a fan of his previous band, I felt he was a fine fit and this recording proves it. He sounds massive.

Another thing that stuck out right away was the production. Passages isn't as "clear" as Chapters and that's a good thing I feel. It's raw, dirty, but you can hear everything perfectly. It's a production that is perfectly suited for a band of this style. It still clobbers the listener over the head like a blunt object.

I've listened to this album probably 15 or more times now. Each listen I loved it more and more as I completely absorbed it. At first, I did feel it wasn't as huge of a progression that each album had from it's predecessor. However, the more I listened, the more I realized this is a band that is settling well into a sound they can call their own. They've hit a stride with that signature sound and they're flowing like a well oiled brutal machine that is a proven winner to be at the top of the heap in the death metal world. I know it's incredibly early, but this will be one of the best metal releases of the year for me.