Floridian Death Metal is probably one of the most famous scenes in the Metal world, save for perhaps the Norwegian Black Metal scene. This scene was erupting at the birth of the previous mentioned Black Metal scene however and was often seen as trendy, oh how the times change. However as a lifelong advocate of Death Metal I have enjoyed many a band from Florida’s shore and would even go as far as to say that the Floridian Death Metal scene helped forge my love for this gore stricken genre.
One such band from Florida would be Monstrosity who if you’re into Death Metal may well know as the band that George Corpsegrinder Fisher sung with prior to joining Cannibal Corpse. I often feel like this slur has branded Monstrosity with a mark of little more than being ‘Corpsegrinder’s band before Corpse’. I must assure you though that whilst the first two albums are classics of Death Metal there is more to the bands career. They have sporadically released albums without hiatus including the follow up to 2007’s Spiritual Apocalypse entitled The Passage Of Existence. This 2018 long awaited full length is put out through Metal Blade with the fury of the Floridian scene of old behind it.
Such a gap between releases often leads to a lot of speculation and hype making releasing a fan pleasing record all the more difficult. Alas here we are with The Passage Of Existence an album that exhibits a most glorious musicianship. From the more classic Death Metal tones to notes that even touch on Technical Death Metal, as well as a vocal range that many a Death Metal vocalist should be envious of. Essentially this is a Death Metal record for total music nerds and those that seek an upper tier of musical professionalism.
Cosmic Pandemia serves as a blinding opener with dashes of the aforementioned Tech and vocal range, not to mention a small helping of memorability in the vocal delivery. Whilst Radiated and Maelstorm crush us with guitar and drum work straight from the Tech Death underworld. This musicianship may be impressive, enjoyable and more than listenable but it leaves very little room for a great deal of hooks that lodge in our minds, although this is a bit of a case of style over substance I still feel like The Passage Of Existence should be held in high regard.
If you enjoy Death Metal and its many forms then this album is certainly for you, equally if you aren’t a fan of the sudden trend of overly Tech Death bands but still like that old school Tech sound then there will be enjoyment for you also. Personally I find this release to be most pleasing albeit not mind blowing, I could and will listen to this time and time again but whether it will be an album of the year is doubtful.
(7/10 George Caley)