Pathology
The Time of Great Purification

The best possible analogy I came across as a main descriptor for Pathology is the ”press play; get your ass handed to you for 30 minutes” type of endearing imagery. I wouldn’t go to an album from these guys with any other real expectation in mind; they satisfy this craving for uncompromising violence without a hint of hesitation or difficulty. The main issue I have with this album is really rather simple, albeit calling it a problem is a bit of a stretch when you can truly appreciate this feast for what it is, with its interesting array of qualities; it’s so compact, there’s a bit of a more-of-the-same feeling kicking in after a large helping of these guys’ type of approach. But as long as you’re good pals with this type of slamming, and find it absolutely refreshing and vivifying for what it is, you’re bound not to wanna let go of this album. The main reason why I call it a quality disc would be that these guys know how to integrate plenty of fucking action and stellar influences within a two-minute span; they go from groove-laden hyperblast brutal death right towards stomping ‘core à la Dying Fetus and into Cannibal Corpse-worthy melodic down-tempo parts, also even occasionally diving into neoclassical tendencies I wish had left a tad more breathing room to the basswork in the final mastering. All those formulas are, for the most part, nailed well throughout the ordeal. There’s some few and far between slipping through the cracks going on and some signs of wear and fatigue in other passages, but they’re so subtle, you’ll have to make an effort to seriously give a shit they’re even part of this album. The groovery here is the keypoint that’ll keep you wanting more spins outta this ’til your head hurts and then some.

”Imprisonned By Fear” reveals a slightly muddy production that seems to stabilize as the album progresses, to eventually end up as relatively perfect for this type of record, which is whether an actual correction of levels, or the fact that my ear stopped picking up on the grainy’ism going on thanks to the major kickassery at hand on the musicianship front. The drumming is energized, the riffage is dandy, and I find I actually love the gurgly vocals of John Huber (ex- I Declare War), which I heard some divided opinions about thus far. To me, it simply fucking aces throughout the entire ride. It never lets up; at all. The groovery, as previously mentioned, is this record’s dominating element; it’s a winning bet in all the contexts we have here. The riffage seems a tad on and off with some signs of reluctance as the tune progresses, but that’s incredibly subtle, and no one’s gonna care enough to grab a microscope and nitpick; it seems the effectiveness of the drumming and the vocals makes up for it so well, the flaw virtually doesn’t exist. The neoclassical lick at 1.14 is no less than stellar, and the melodies are also well-nailed. The riffage, at 1.31, gets a lot more threatening and thick, with a tasty hardcore stomp going on around the end of the cut. ”Tyrannical Decay”, my personal fave (and no, not simply because it was chosen as first single; this is definitely about the number of hooks at handreach) kicks off on a fairly addictive groove roll as well, and the bass drum sounds no less than orgasmic here. I dig the variations in the pacing of the riffage (the main pattern is SO badass) and this skin-breaking drumming. The hooks seriously abound. This is a truly old school and true-to-the-recipe type of brutality. It’s no Programmed-to-Innovate machine, but truthfully, the familiar feel to it is still something to be worshiped up to this point.

”Corporate Harvest” has this fucking frenetic intro, with a nice kick to the drumming and a generally ape presentation. The old school hardcore influence crawling in ’round 0.33 adds a ton of ‘tude to this (I never thought I’d ever put those words down on paper in the history of my life). About one minute in, the hyperspeed patterning doesn’t seem that original, but there’s something about this front man’s vocal that makes it sound apocalyptic and far beyond inhuman. The hardcore slamming, being so well balanced out with the brutality going atop, both styles throwing the ball back and forth; it all makes for yet another track I can’t argue with. It’s catchy all the way through; getting bored would require some seriously poor knowledge and understanding of what it takes to make violence worthwhile musically. ”Torment in Salvation” is the point where I started noticing a couple minuscule, but still a tad more obvious fuckups. The riffage is more reluctant, and the groovery sounds stuck in a bit of a box. Still, the heavy duty drumming is a really great consolation. 1.03 minutes in, it feels the grooves finally sort of break free from their constipation, and I’ll even add that there’s a tinge of neoclassical feeling in the air. The ”marching” drums going atop make for a nice affect. This goes into a full blown melodic section that’s simply no less than awing. The soloing also happens to be stellar. ”Asphyxiation Through Consumption” is definitely a highlight in various departments. The intro is characterized by solid groove and varying drum patterns. That seems to get slightly watered down by an obsessive need for speed, although this linearism is quick to get corrected. I’m instantly reminded of Dying Fetus with the deathcore going on at 1.03. Seconds later, the buildup showcasing even more varied takes on the drumming is just massive. The wall to wall guitarwork is truly riffy, never missing the mark. 1.44 also has a good groove section; it’s all really really tight, and keeps on being this tight, for the most part, ’til the last note of the album. The moments where I had a feeling there was some wear and tear to that concept made me wonder if I was listening to the same band; they don’t have a reputation for losing headway, for damned sure.

”Remnants of Freedom” has an intro à la modern-day Cannibal Corpse, with melodies that definitely have a way of reminding me of their latest records. Even some slightly technical-sounding licks make a phantomatic appearance 43 seconds in. The downtempo hardcore-ish pacing of things a couple nano’s later fits this band perfectly, but I gotta say the varying approaches to the drumming have a way, all of their own, of infusing multiple styles of DM into the swing of things. That’s totally classy. ”Dissection of Origins” truly got me kinking an eyebrow with its proggy lickery in the intro; I half-expected it would be an entirely different kinda deal. When the typical groovery kicks back in, it’s easy to tell it’s the same ole; and that’s perfectly okay by me, but it was definitely an interesting suggestion going on there. 48 seconds in though, I hear a clear lack of coordination between the drumming and the guitars, or maybe the drumming technique wasn’t the best one he could possibly pick to tag along with *those* types of riffs. Nevertheless, 1.34 has a nice and distracting pile of melodic ideas that go straight into a buildup, keeping the whole from falling into this drastically linear mode. There’s some nice atonality and melody progressions going on in the small interlude, and that’s easy to appreciate. ”A Bleak Future”, regardless of being good for what it is, sure ain’t perfect. The cutting and dirty intro riff is the coolest thing out there.

Again, the ‘core spirit of this track just rocks my socks. The stompy drumming, the nice variations in the vocal approach, it’s all very engrossing. Still, there’s a few odd choices of riffs here and there ’til about 1.21. It seems the emphasis on thick groovery is often cut too short. 1.49 tries to go for some hint of a melody that sounds like it’s turfing somewhere between atonality and fatigue. The solo is fine though, but the buildup around the end of the cut seems to be there only for the sake of saving face. This sure ain’t the best tune on here. All I truly liked is the intro riff, to be brutally honest. ”Oppression by Faith” and ”Cultivating Humanity”, on the flipside, are nifty little fuckers. The former has groove, and even progressive tendencies to the riffage, and to the basswork I wish I’d heard for longer than a split second. It’s somehow nicely different in terms of the pacing of the development of the ideas. The vocal is especially fired up here. ”C.H.” is no bored to death dwelling either; the riffage ’round the beginning sucks, but it seems to escalate towards a melodic buildup with more skilled drumming to boot. There’s a very simplistic but efficient hook going on shortly after the cool part at 0.41, and the downtempo slaying following it makes it obvious, again, that this band’s familiar array of tools is simply the one they should stick to. Simply because it’s fucking beautiful that way, needing no sort of replacement spare fallback experiments to make it a safe bet. ‘Round 1.47, the drums seem to be centerpiece (moreso than the guitars), and the solo seems oddly cut in half and slightly reluctant, but that’s a small problem.

There’s simply no way it sounds half as tired as ”Earth’s Downfall”. The thick ‘core groove at the beginning sounds cool at first but is quick to feel a bit old. Very ordinary progressive riffage atop stupidly muffled drumming is how this gets served at first. Around 0.50, the riffage visibly tries to go somewhere, but I simply don’t get what the hell it’s doing. 1.13 attempts to forge a nice pattern with slightly accentuated drumming, but it still sounds weak at best ’til the techniques start to vary a touch at 1.44. ”The Everlasting Plague”, as I pretty much expected, is dizzyingly fucking good. The intro riffage is wonderful, going in all directions, and sounds especially gorgeous when it goes into a downtempo stomp; that part sounds very state-of-the-art. 0.28 is a cool lection with some nice swirly licks. This feels like some sort of a bullet storm. 1.12 has more of these nicely tight-knit licks going on, with more neoclassical influence rather evident. This whole tune works as a buildup with more nice melodies and nifty grooves closing it out.

All things considered, and absolutely all, even the couple question marks along the way, petty as they are; ”The Time of Great Purification” is simply yet another fucking awesome delivery from this band, showcasing just how consistent and knowledgeable they are about what they really care for in death metal. I don’t think I truly needed to be reassured on any other sort of aspect at all before going into this listening session, and I’m sure as hell satisfied. They’re not going anywhere; they’ll stick to their guns and fucking use ’em up, without a trace of an afterthought. Great job. More please.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Noch
October 24th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    yeah- very Dying Fetus-y, this one


  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    liked the last one, particularly the melodic bits. closest thing to enjoyable, melodic slam that I’ve found so far. will check this out too.


  3. Commented by: Deepsend Records

    Noch, yet another A+ review. Although I haven’t heard this album yet, there’s no doubt in my mind that you described the sound better than the band ever could. Great work! Can’t wait until you wrap your ears around the new Corpus Mortale album.


  4. Commented by: Noch

    ”there’s no doubt in my mind that you described the sound better than the band ever could.”

    What a seriously kickass compliment. Thanks a bunch for reading and for the words. I’ll sure as heck check out the CM album and let you know what I think ASAP.


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