face-of-oblivionYou can always rely on Comatose Music to pump out a never-ending stream of truly horrifying and gruesomely addictive death metal as this US band has its foot stamped firmly on the throat of technical but brutally dense death metal. The bands drummer has had his sticks in various other bands both current and former as the Minnesotan outfit release their second album, some five years after the debut,
as this album is a match for anything on their label’s roster that begins abruptly with “Embracing Damnation” with its teeth smashing machine gun blasting and beastly vocal delivery that will test the lower frequency range of your hearing.

As expected the album is spliced together with catchy riffs and hypersonic blast work outs via the drums and fretboard gymnastics that continues into “Seismic Anomaly”. The title track is awash with pulverising blasts and gut churning vocals with a similarity to Suffocation, as all these bands do in all honesty, but it doesn’t have the cloning flag waving as the style may be early Suffocation but the riffs and arrangements are the bands own as the all-out bulldozing approach is tempered by some deft riffing trickery that propels the songs into catchier realms, relatively speaking. You could pick any track on this and be very happy with the result as “Futility” bombards the listener with barrel bombing double kick that arrives in waves and allows a tuneful lead break to appear that lasts longer than a few seconds thankfully allowing it to flood into the song rather than have it appear then disappear like an apparition.

The riff to “Walls Of Flesh” is a cracker, bone saw like in sound it carves a deep gouge that runs blood red with bass fluidity and a barricade of drumming nihilism. “Paradoxical Undressing” stands out for being the catchiest tune with thundering double kick and a very hummable riff that has some similarities to early Hate Eternal, which is probably why it’s my favourite track on the album overall. Challenging the listener the short borderline intro piece of “Descent” leads into the closing track “Shroud Of Hypocrisy” and a more experimental style that works well and leaves you wondering if that’s what the band is going to do on subsequent albums as the closer begins with a very blackened riff and moody ethos but quickly blanketed by a sheet of pummelling drum work that is lifted for that blackened edge to reappear and works extremely well and indicates that Face Of Oblivion aren’t just out to kick the living shit out of you.

(8/10 Martin Harris)