HeboïdophrenieThe greeting is horrible screams and impressive artwork and lyrics which would be entirely in place on any Grindethic album. The emerging and lasting sound is in fact that of Vader, Cannibal Corpse, Carnifex or any other brutal death metal band that you can think of. This is French band’s Heboïdophrenie’s first recorded contribution to the world of dismemberment and corpses through metal music.

Twirling drums, deep and dingy bass lines, punishing guitar riffs and frenetic growls are the hallmarks of “Origin of Madness”. The intensity is also entrenched in a deep groove, as the track “Heboïdophrenie” digs still deeper. A battering riff line drives us forward. All this punching battery is pure and potentially headache-inducing but I was enjoying it too much for that. I like it. “Feast of Death” is faster and breezier, in a death metal sense of course. Here Heboïdophrenie show their technical capabilities. The juggernaut presses on and if anything, “Decay” is growlier, darker and deeper. With this depth comes an atmosphere of foreboding. The technical skill and coherence are impressive. Everything is geared to the onslaught. An interesting deep-voiced spoken section interrupts “The Butcher”, which contains a number of practical suggestions for those of a necrophiliac tendency. But the primary mission is maintained of battering its listeners into the ground.

“Rotten” is a graphic description of a dead girl’s decomposition. The vocalist tells the tale. A short superlative guitar section intervenes. As ever, it is musically deep and penetrating. Penetration comes into the gory story but I won’t spoil it. There is a certain melody about the riffs but this is heavily counterbalanced by a strong technical element. The bludgeoning journey goes on over the last few tracks without stopping or stepping down. “Death to All”, “Morbid Satyriasis” and “Cadavers” seemed more about the perpetuation of the bludgeoning than about something new or innovative, but the “Outro” provides one last technical extravaganza, ending appropriately with spectacular drum fire.

“Origin of Madness” is a good album. There are no prizes here for novelty in a musical sense, but it’s intense and graphic, and there’s a high level of competence and firepower.

(7.5/10 Andrew Doherty)