Originally conceived around 1995 as an industrial project that would introduce elements of death metal and black metal, years of experimental studio sessions and futile attempts at forming a band resulted in a total inversion of this plan. The concept of mixing industrial and metal seemed preposterous in 1995, especially to the metal community: music played on synthesizers was “fake”, drums from a machine sounded “soul-less”, and ambience coming from a sampler was “cheap”. As a result, including these elements in metal would make the music… not metal. History tells us now that Kelly’s movement was eventually embraced - however, it took over a decade to gain credibility.
Evolving through phases of industrial-metal, death metal, electronically-enhanced thrash and even doom metal, all the while being constantly plagued by failed lineups, as a last resort before calling it quits Kelly hesitantly embraced Trent Reznor’s approach. Forced to use the industrial methodology of drum machines for rhythm and synthesizers for backing and textures - mostly due to a lack of local musicians who he hadn’t already alienated or outright offended - the sound of Dehumanation evolved into a melange of black metal and death metal with only occasional, obvious industrial highlights.
With the Necrotech demo (2004) his vision became more focused. An obscure 5-song CD Kelly and friends handed out and left laying in record stores and music clubs, Necrotech featured a full-length background soundtrack consisting of WWII-era Nazi rallies, thunderstorms, horror movie murder-scenes and other intimidating or violent effects. Metal programs on local stations as well as internet radio stations picked up the demo within a few weeks, and the resulting underground buzz affirmed what Kelly had suspected: people were looking for something new in black metal, something unique in death metal, and something truly vicious in industrial.
With Orwellian, anti-utopian themes emerging as the central concept of “a nation dehumanized” (thus the name, “Dehumanation”), Kelly began recording what would become Dehumanation’s first album. Volume I (2005) is the result of years of trial and error: a bastardized cross-breed of black metal and death metal melded with classical and industrial.
It’s impossible to pin the sound down as a single genre, with unpredictable shifts between various styles - sometimes from one track to the next. Yet overall the sound remains firmly rooted in the more extreme metal subgenres that make up the foundation of Dehumanation’s bizzare crossover theme.
A new EP (“Hallowed Black Divine”) is in the works, as well as a split with Belgian black metal (“hell rock’n’roll”) desecrator extraordinaire, Plaag. Kelly has stated that the EP will offer just a taste of what’s to come on the next album musically while veering sharply into uncharted territory lyrically and conceptually.
Edited by dehumanation on 19 Jul 2010, 07:49
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