Inhuman Condition

Man, talk about being prolific. With their debut album, Rat°God, having just been released barely a year ago, and having spent much of the past year out and about supporting said album, Inhuman Condition is already back with full-length number two of classic old-school styled Floridian death metal.

What the hell? Do these guys think it’s 1991 or something? If you’re not familiar with the details/drama that led to the formation of the band, then do yourself a favor and go read our review of Rat°God which showcased an affinity for the originating lineage of Death, Massacre, and Obituary, (i.e. bassist Terry Butler) though if we’re being fully honest, Inhuman Condition obviously and blatantly, cuts and bleeds all things classic Massacre.

I have to say, Rat°God impressed the shit out of me. The single tracks that were teased from that album definitely set up intrigue and hopeful expectations and frankly, the band delivered a scorcher.  Rat°God was finally, the proper follow-up we fans deserved to Massacre‘s mighty From Beyond. I know that’s a big statement, but I stand by it. Hell, I think Rat°God was even a tad better than Massacre‘s own “comeback” album, Resurgence, also released last year; though honestly, Resurgence is quite great and stands on its own without having to sound or fit into any “classic” or retro tag. I digress. I’m here to talk about Fearsick, and where and how it stands. Have Inhuman Condition, so quickly, found success again, or has the dreaded sophomore slump struck down again, another promising killer act?

Well, friends, you can rest easy and assuredly that Fearsick is a banger of an album, easily a quality follow-up to Rat°God. Admittedly, nothing has really changed from Rat°God to Fearsick. This is still (somewhat) simpler driving death metal might, full of classic catchy riffs and ferocious personality. If debut Rat°God did anything for you whatsoever, then you can indeed expect Fearsick to give your neck a splendid thrashing and your arm a damn good fist-pumping time. While Fearsick may not top or usurp anything away from its predecessor, it very easily and admirably matches it. Fearsick is a total successful side-step as opposed to any “progressive” move forward. Completely fresh and wholly retro. Original, yet not. Wearing its influences like an Elvis jumpsuit, but sporting it as its own.  A bit of a paradox if you will, but ultimately, a great one to have. Reveling in just as much what it isn’t as what it is, Fearsick is pretty damn great to put it simply and mildly.

The band couldn’t have picked a better opening track than “The Mold Testament”. It’s a clean, chunky riffed affair that is catchy as hell with just enough change-ups to keep the movement driving, and it’s fun as well. For me, all of the tracks have something fun, catchy, and even nostalgic about them, but I really dug “I’m Now the Monster”, for its headbanging, moshable, beer-drinking, good-time death metal vibe that it omits. The song has an authenticness to it while reeking of the classic Massacre sound. Just the right amount of darkness and hooks aplenty, as well as some classic fueled leads, definitely good stuff.

“Wound Collector” was another banger worthy of mention for its Maximum Violence(Six Feet Under) meets Massacre vibes, resulting in a nice back and forth tempo dance of lurch and speed. Throw in some early Death influence in the middle of the track, as well as some great rocking the fuck out towards the last, and I’m hooked.

Though if there is a highlight to be found, it would be it the “Fencewalker”. Beginning as an in-your-face death thrasher, almost grindy in its attitude, the track shifts to slower headbanging fields halfway in with some fantastic drum rolls accenting the slower attributes, before shifting into a tad slower and even doom-filled territory. We get some great bass separation and presence, plus a nice, simple, and effective lead that sets the mood perfectly. A great feeling of classic death metal brutality. The song quickly moves back into that faster, almost grindy like feel, before closing out in fine death metal form. If anything, “Fencewalker” delivers a bit more from the band while still retaining their formative influence, showing where the future of their material can go and expand upon in the future.

From what I can tell there will be, much like their debut, multiple releasing distributors for Fearsick, so there will be differences depending on what version you grab, mainly in the bonus track department. While all versions will have the original nine tracks that makeup Fearsick, there are a few different cover songs that will be on various versions, including “Pull the Plug”(Death), “Magnificat” (Benediction), “Whiplash”(Metallica), “Surprise! You’re Dead! (Faith No More), and possible others that I’m not aware of at this time.

Personally, I think I would put Rat°God over Fearsick in my preference, but not by much. Maybe it’s because I have spent a lot more time with the band’s debut, or maybe the allure and intriguing drama that came with the debut gave it an extra form of eager anticipation that paid off. Maybe I just know what to expect this time around. Whatever the case, it doesn’t change the fact that Inhuman Condition seems to have another winner on their hands, as Fearsick is a damn fine record. Topped with great production and some once again killer Dan Goldsworthy artwork (Alestorm, Gloryhammer, Corpsegrinder), Fearsick needs to be in your collection.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
July 18th, 2022


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