Contaminating the Hive Mind

Do not assume that the lateness of this review is somehow indicative of procrastination resulting from indifference related to Abnormality’s Contaminating the Hive Mind. Said procrastination is the result of…well, whatever else might lead to procrastination. In any event, the Massachusetts’ act delivers a memorable effort here for which extra (figurative) points are awarded for the deft balance of the technical and conventional aspects of United States Death Metal (USDM).

That it is brutal is a given, considering Contaminating the Hive Mind was released on Sevared Records. But typical for the label it is not, at least in terms of the entrails-tangled, slamming USDM often heard from the New York outfit.  It is brutal like a Hate Eternal album is brutal. In fact, the HE sound can be heard throughout the album; in some places more pronounced than others. The style of vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy – a competent growler in her own right – is similar in many respects to the throat-shredding ways of Erik Rutan too.  In other words, there is no lack of intensity here, not by a longshot.

But Abnormality is no Hate Eternal clone, thanks to obvious efforts in the song structures to keep the album from bogging down into a blur of one-dimensional blasting.  “Fabrication of the Enemy” – the standout cut – is the definitive case in point. In the simplest of terms, it is a great modern death metal song. The guitars, a super sweet shift to a Morbid Angel dirge over pummeling kick-drums, and the overall structuring of the track will command your attention every single time. As it turns out, the album’s other Morbid Angel nod (purposeful or otherwise) occurs during the first part of “Taste of Despair,” which also happens to be another album highlight, before the band flips the speed switch to the “on” position and renews its merciless attack.

Contaminating the Hive Mind may not be a breaker of new ground, but it’s far from an exercise in staid emulation. What Contaminating the Hive Mind is more than anything else is a fine example of 21st century USDM and an easy one to recommend to fans. Abnormality is a band to watch.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
September 24th, 2012


  1. Commented by: Kevin E.

    Good review and killer album. Hard to believe this is a female vocalist at times.

  2. Commented by: Odovacar

    I remember first hearing about Abnormality in Rock Band 2 (technical death metal in a video game?! Wah?!). It’s good to know that they’re still going strong and I’ll have to check out this album.

  3. Commented by: Deepsend Records

    Should’ve released this album. Never thought it would sound like this. Great album!

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