Lords of Rephaim

Pathology has been one of the most, if not the most brutal death metal band to come out of San Diego, California and the band has only been around a mere 7 years. When vocalist Matti Way departed after the 2010 release of Legacy of the Ancients the band still plowed forward and the 2011 release, Awaken to the Suffering, with I Declare War vocalist Jonathan Huber, was super heavy and brutal, but something was missing and I thought the songwriting went further down hill with last year’s The Time of Great Purification. Enter the brand new release, Lords of Rephaim and this puts the original recording line-up of the 2009, Age of Onset album, and Legacy of the Ancients together again. The album crushes, plain and simple and I feel this is as good if not better than their best album, Legacy of the Ancients.

First thing that is evident is the songwriting is much improved over the last 2 releases and Matti’s vocals sound brutally amazing. The songs breathe a little more on this cd and the band spent some time crafting memorable songs and trust me you will be humming along to these songs in no time, awesome riffs abound. The title track pummels the listener over and over with a mid-paced slam fest. HEAVY! Awesome guttural vox from Matti, straight from the toilet bowl. Check out the highlight at the 2.10 mark with the stunning gutturals and riff! ‘Autumn Cryptique’, at the 58 second mark, goes down in Pathology history as one of the best beat down slams the band has ever done, combining the song with tight blasts and more mid-paced heaviness. I do have to question the re-recording of ‘Code Injection’, which is only three years old, I found it a bit pointless. The bass bomb drops are missing, groove parts are sped up and the original owns this newer version.

The production is crisp and punchy, what you would expect from the band. Album cover is a continuation of the mad scientist, he is now on a planet with his alien/hybridized minions he created, lyrics included as well. I really have to commend the band on the songwriting for getting back to writing memorable brutal songs and Lords of Rephaim is not only a welcome back to the best Pathology line-up, but also for creating one of the best American brutal death metal albums 2013 has seen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
October 21st, 2013


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