Pathology
Unholy Descent

18 years, 12 albums, 9 labels, 8 vocalists.

You have to hand it to the lone remaining founding member/ drummer Dave Astor; he is certainly persistent and keeps shuffling lineups and releasing albums on multiple labels, even with all the above he’s seemingly settled on a somewhat stable lineup for a few albums now (Obie Flet on vocals, Dan Richardson in Guitars, Ricky Jackson on bass.

And now on Agonia Records, and while the label and lineups change, the quality of Pathology’s sneakily melodic brutal death metal/slam is as consistent as ever, as Unholy Descent sees the band continue to deliver the goods.

A number of staff have covered the band’s releases since 2011’s Awaken to the Suffering, to 2021’s The Everlasting Plague. Myself included with 2019’s Reborn to Kill. And when I dug through all the reviews, one thing stood out; there wasn’t a bad review in the bunch, although 2017s Self Titled effort was considered below par for the band’s output.

Well, album number 12 certainly stays the course as it is another fine pathology album, arguably one of the top ones in their career.

The formula is as solidly consistent as the last 9-10 efforts; traditional US brutal death metal/slam, but with just a little melody here and there, and now with some new, minimal orchestration as well ( intro, “Cult of the Black Triangle”)

From “Cult of the Black Triangle” to “A World Turned to Ashes”, Unholy Descent is a Pathology album. Nothing more nothing less. The slams slam (i.e. “Psychotronic Abominations”, “Archon”, “Malevolent Parasite’), the blasts blast (i.e. “Diabolical Treachery”), and the little harmonies (leads, etc) here and there keep things interesting (i.e. “Hermatic Gateways”, “Whispers of the Djinn”, “Diabolical Treachery”, “Demons in the Aether”, “Apostles of Fire”,”A World Turned to Ashes”) and not just a mere Devourment clone, like many of their peers.

Zach Ohren’s (another consistency for a few albums now) recording is perfect- heavy and clear and a perfectly rendered delivery system for Pathology’s expertly crafted 12th studio album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 10th, 2024

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