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”.
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All of it
3.8/5 or 76%.
Written by Scott