Embryonic Devourment
Fear of Reality Exceeds Fantasy

In the last few months we have seen some stunning brutal/technical death metal releases from the likes of Ulcerate, Sickening Horror, Decrepit Birth, Brain Drill and Hate Eternal, so you’ll have to excuse me if the debut from California’s Embryonic Devourment falls a bit short despite its effort and skill.

Though my lack of glowing praise for Fear of Reality Exceeds Fantasy could arguably be blamed on tech death metal burnout, the fact remains , due to a couple of factors, the album just isn’t quite there yet. Sure, they have impressive technical chops and a seemingly eight armed (albeit uber triggered) drummer, but they are hampered by a clinical, weak guitar tone and hollow drum production (just listen to the intro to “Disembowelment 322”), which is odd considering Matt Sotelo from Decrepit Birth recorded the album. And then the song writing, that while challenging and complex, lacks that certain ‘it’ that grabs you and commands your attention above and beyond the technicality.

From opener “Eating the Flesh of Gods” through the slightly more standout tracks like the title track and “Woolded and Kellhauled” (partly due to their more experimental interludes) to promising closer “Usurping the Secret Society”, it’s obvious all the players have the skill (though the vocals are pretty weak) to be a player in the genre There’s a definite newer Psycroptic vibe to the output, but there’s just no force or power in the riffs and its all sounds a bit to robotic and clinical to compete with the bands mentioned above. I’m just never drawn back to the album after its done playing despite its at times dizzying complexity.

Still, this is an OK offering in the genre from a band that’s still got lots of time to develop and hone their considerable skill into something more worthwhile and I imagine the next album will be an improvement in all areas.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 13th, 2008

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