Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pathology – Pathology

American brutal death metal band Pathology is returning in 2017 to unleash their next album to the world. It’s been 3 years since their last record, and while that might qualify as a normal wait for most bands, it feels like an eternity for Pathology, who released a new album every year between 2008-2014. Despite only having heard a subset of these records (“Legacy of the Ancients”, “Awaken To the Suffering”, and “Lords of Rephaim”), it is nonetheless clear that “Pathology” is incredibly true to the band’s vision. That means this record is a compact offering of brutal death metal, complete with gurgly vocals, heavily palm-muted and syncopated riffs, and mechanical-feeling drumming.

Even though this record is largely devoid of memorable moments, there is always an interesting riff being played. Pathology is certainly not a brutal death metal band that gets away with just being heavy; they actually compose crushing riffs, and they have so many of these riffs that they never feel stale. One thing the band excels at is writing slams. There aren’t a ton of them on this album, but when they do show up (such as on “Dissevered”), they are absolutely filthy. The band would benefit from incorporating more of these earth-shatteringly heavy moments into their music.

The production on this release manages to beat out most records from similar bands. Matti Way’s vocals are higher in the mix than one would typically expect, but he’s a far superior vocalist to most of his contemporaries so this isn’t a problem. It also keeps the drumming in check, as a lot of these bands tend to have a tinny crackling snare, but Dave Astor’s kit sounds like a more typical metal drumkit. The guitars, though downtuned, aren’t so low that they prevent you from deciphering the riffs. It helps that Pathology occasionally works their way up the fretboard instead of playing monotone sounding riffs.

Though “Pathology” brings nothing new to the table, it does continue to show why this band is among the best brutal death metal has to offer. The extra time off didn’t really make them any better, but more importantly, it didn’t make them any worse. This record is as consistent as can be, and any fan of slamming, gurgling, chunky death metal will dig “Pathology”.

Be sure to check out and like Pathology on Facebook!

Highlights
All of it

Final Rating
3.8/5 or 76%. 

Written by Scott

Monday, May 22, 2017

Madrost – The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh

After 3 years, California’s Madrost returns with their most ambitious release to date: “The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh”. This album shows the death/thrash outfit incorporating more technical and progressive elements into their sound in order to create an album that is more of an experience than simply a collection of songs. The title of the record implies it might be a bit convoluted, and there is some truth to that. The opening track, “Eyes of the Deceit”, has a main riff that switches between distorted and clean guitars fairly consistently. The end result is something that is ear catching the first time, but ultimately feels a bit busy on repeated listens (particular as it also occurs underneath vocals at times). The good news is that Madrost often uses more standard methods of injecting technical feats into their songs. This record has no shortage of speed or intricate riffing, and often uses dissonance to great effect.

Though absent in the first track, one thing that becomes imminently clear is the influence that Death has had on Madrost. “The Silence In Ruins” in particular is overflowing with riffs that could have been on “Human”. The band delivers a similarly mechanically precise performance, as even the most breakneck of tempos are executed to perfection. There are numerous riffs that feature tremolo picking various root notes with a few higher-pitched notes highlighted. Madrost is definitely not so one-dimensional as to only copy Death, however. They also manage to use dissonance to create more epic sections, showing slight influences from a band like Dissection. The interesting thing about all of these comparisons, however, is that Madrost does it mostly under the guise of being a thrash band. These guys fit in very well with the younger modern thrash groups, even if they do sound a bit different. Perhaps it is because of the occasionally more straight forward drumming, the lack of excessively downtuned guitars, the prominent usage of melody, or even the understandable screamed vocals, but Madrost’s sound will certainly appeal to fans of groups like Warbringer, Vektor, or Havok. 

The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh” is an extraordinarily ambitious record. The songs are not always easy to follow, and often take a variety of twists and turns before returning to a familiar riff or melody. With that said, Madrost has enough self-awareness to realize that 7 tracks of this sound is enough. In comparison to many other technically proficient counterparts who stretch out their albums to an hour, Madrost deliver only the most essential material. This isn’t to say that every riff hits the mark perfectly, but the band does a lot of things right on this record, and the result is a unique, compelling death/thrash album!      

Be sure to check out and like Madrost on Facebook!

Highlights
"The Silence in Ruins"
"Abstractions"
"Scorned"

Final Rating
4.0/5 or 80%. 

Written by Scott