In my usual routine of writing up reviews it encompasses checking out the bands past discography, obviously, but also includes line-up changes, previous album titles – any patterns therein, release rates, album art work style, other bands with the same name which surprisingly is only a few with this name and I expected at least 20 called Pathology if I’m honest during the past 30 years or so, etc, I’m sure you get the picture. I’ve had a fleeting relationship with this brutal death metal act hailing from the USA that touched base with the bands 2012 release “The Time Of Great Purification” and “Throne Of Reign” from 2014 the latter of which was absolutely bludgeoning.
There is a whole sphere of ultra-brutal death metal labels that if pitted against one another in terms brutality would be one hell of a festival though quite how much technical blasting and double kick one could withstand is debatable. Without doubt however Comatose Music has a roster packed with knuckle dragging Cro-Magnon primitiveness and whilst the music that Pathology unleash is aural thuggery the technical expertise embedded into the songs is without question. Fans of the band may be disappointed with the sound on this ninth, yes ninth album, from a band that has had a stable line up for most of its duration since 2006. Bands change of course and song writing prowess and technical dexterity goes with it, but there has been a dilution in the density and overall power that exudes from the production. “Lamentation” opens the album, with no intro piece thankfully, as the slammy riffing sets about mauling the listener utilising a gnarly gurgling vocal style that settles into the background of the song.
Pathology write catchy songs and that is the framework of their intent and it works extremely well but the sterility of the sound renders the brutality of the songs impotent in parts though I’m sure in the live environment these songs will absolutely slay. “Dolorous” continues the mayhem with the cavernous vocals languishing in infrasonic tones allowing the crisp drum work take focus though it’s a little too crisp for my liking. Many of the songs blend into each other far too easily and at times I didn’t realise the song had switched to the next such is the overt similarity but “Servitors” caught my ear with its slamming ugliness, rugged beastliness and catchy riffing style. “Dissevered” also caught my attention due to its beginning riff which is packed with Suffocation like hooks as the drums drop into a cruising double kick. At time the vocals on the album reminded me of the noises the Strigoi make on the TV series The Strain with a lingering throatiness as “Putrescent” blasts out with that throatiness delivering a phlegm riddled saturation with more Suffocation style riffing but also a decent quotient of Dying Fetus shredding too.
“Doth” stands out for starting a little differently, possessing a powerful and vicious riff that has a sort of punk feel to it and reminded me of defunct UK outfit The Rotted (who you should check out if you don’t know them). The anarchic feel the song exudes is chaotic, violent and bristling with angst and I would have preferred more songs like this as there is an edge to this track over the rest of the album. Fans of the band may not like the sound on this album but the riffing structures and intensity are generally intact and live these songs will kill but in the scheme of comparisons to other brutal death metal or slamming death metal this is second rate as there has been a lot of top quality stuff out this year though I hope the band make it to the UK so I check out them out at some point soon.
(7/10 Martin Harris)