Abnormality
Mechanisms of Omniscience

Damnit, damnit, damnit Abnormality… why did you have to go this route?!?  After 2012’s PHENOMENAL Contaminating the Hive Mind (which made my year end top albums list), which one of you decided that mailing in a snooze-worthy, by the numbers brutal death metal album was a good idea?  And after being signed to Metal Blade records of all things?!?  Well that’s what happened this go ‘round, and it’s my early favorite for most disappointing album of the year.

The same lineup from the last album is back, save for new guitarist Sam Kirsch.  But the star of the show is vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy, who has such a powerful growl that I remember being surprised after hearing Hive Mind that it was in fact a female spewing forth such awesomeness; an impressive sight in a male dominated genre.  The musicianship is solid, if unspectacular, with the main issue being here that the songs are just so damn boring.  There’s very little variation, and after multiple spins I found it very hard to pick out one track from the next, or any that were standouts.  It’s all death growl-blast-fast riffs-double bass, wash, rinse, repeat.

Now that formula in itself is not necessarily a bad thing or a guarantee of failure, as expecting a band to reinvent the wheel each album is wholly unrealistic.  But in this case it just reeks of going through the motions, and possibly of wanting to play it too safe having made it onto a big label, as this one definitely lacks the nastiness factor of the last one.  To further add to the disappointment the production is frustratingly thin, with the plastic chair sounding snare drum dominating the drum mix and very little low end crunch to the guitars or the bass.  The whole album clocks in at just over 38 minutes, with two pointless instrumentals mixed in.  This one would have benefited greatly from being trimmed down a bit and upping the quality over quantity aspect.

Are there worse albums out there?  Absolutely, and you won’t feel too cheated if you decide to give this one a few spins.  What Abnormality might want to do is take a page out Aborted’s book, as they have proven you can produce many albums yet not choose not to fall short in the songwriting category.  They also sacrificed some sick artwork on a sub-par album, as the abstract screaming face is one of the coolest I’ve seen in a while.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
June 9th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This was a real snoozer


  2. Commented by: F.Rini

    I agree their debut was great and one of the best releases on Sevared Records. From what I’ve heard thus far is bland dm with little variety. A true shame.


  3. Commented by: Blake Solomon

    Strike two Metal Blade… This release was both highly anticipated and disappointing for me was well…

    ALSO: Ketzer’s album Starless (also released this year on Metal Blade) still remains this year’s biggest disappointment for me so far. After Ketzer’s Satan’s Boundaries Unchained and Endzeit Metropolis releases I was ready for Ketzer to take over the world but alas…

    “METAL BLADE…where extraordinary underground metal bands go to DIE!!!”


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