For millennia, civilizations around the world have passed on the harrowing folklore of mermaids for generations. The chilling tales of these murderous sirens luring unsuspecting sailors to a watery grave with their enchantingly ethereal voices have captivated people across many cultures for centuries. These tales serve as a testament to – not only how powerful a voice can be – but also how important the voice is as an instrument. And if you’re an Abnormality fan, you know this to be very true especially in the case of their new album, Sociopathic Constructs (Metal Blade Records).
To death metal fans outside of the New England area that have not had the pleasure of listening to/seeing Abnormality, then their latest release, Mechanisms of Omniscience (Metal Blade), should be the next new album you listen to. Forming back in 2005 in Massachusetts, the brutal death metal group has established a gigantic footprint in the local scene that has formed respect in the hearts of all locals (fans and other bands). This record being their début on Metal Blade, the bar was set pretty high. Without fail, they have easily not only reached, but surpassed my expectations.
It may be a limitation with the genre of trying to write a full length album with songs that can remain memorable on their own, but Abnormality has managed to do that here. One of my absolute favorite songs on the album (and maybe in their catalog to date) is ‘Synthetic Pathogenesis’. This track brings forward both sides of the band. On one hand you have the technical expertise with speedy fretwork and drum fills that will leave your head spinning. On the other hand, the aggressiveness that pokes its ugly head out halfway through the song with a breakdown that would make even the most legendary of death metal acts cry. Another great example of this is ‘Vigilant Ignorance’ (which we can also agree is a pretty sweet song title for this day and age). Original members Jeremy Henry (guitars) and Jay Blaisdell (drums) show off their musicianship between a face-melting solo and drum work that not even Shaun T from those corny Beach Body videos could pull off in a cardio video. For those not familiar with this group, another stand out is the ever impressive death metal growls from frontwoman, Mallika Sundaramurthy. With each release, I have watched her grow as a death metal vocalist and wish I could hit the gutturals she hits on Mechanisms of Omniscience. The closing track, ‘Consuming Infinity’ is the perfect way to end this journey with a bolded exclamation point. Technicality, brutality, and a some slam sprinkled in gives this album complete and satisfying closure.
From the demo in 2007 up through Mechanisms of Omniscience, Abnormality show no signs of slowing down or writing cookie cutter albums like many of their predecessors have done. Metal Blade Records have struck gold with this band and this is only the first album in what appears to be a bright future. While most of us lucky natives to the Northeastern portion of the US have had years of fun with this band, it is time for the rest of the world to jump on this bandwagon.
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California death metallers Flesh Consumed will be releasing their third full length release Hymn For The Leeches out later in 2015 via Unique Leader Records. The record is being recorded in several locales and boasts the smoldering lineup of Corey Athos on vocals, Shaune Kelley (Dim Mak, ex-Hate Eternal, ex-Ripping Corpse) on guitars, Andrew Guthrie (ex-Monstrosity) on bass, and Shane Elwell (Images Of Violence, Oppressive Force, VBT) on drums with guest vocal slots by Matti Way (Pathology, Abominable Putridity etc.), Steve Tucker (ex- Morbid Angel, Warfather etc.), Mallika Sundaramurthy (Parasitic Extirpation, Castrator, Abnormality etc.) and more.
The EP features originals and covers of Alice In Chains’ “We Die Young,” with Revocation’s Dave Davidson guest shredding, and a duet with Mallika Sundaramurthy of Abnormality and Parasitic Extirpation on Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker.”
We Die Young [Alice in Chains cover]
Heartbreaker [Pat Benatar cover]