Friday, October 14, 2011

Pathology- Awken the Suffering(2011)

Pathology- Awaken the Suffering

Although I grew up in the hay-day of Brutal Death Metal, I was never a fan of Slam Death Metal. I preferred the blast-heavy, guttural machinations that Deeds of Flesh and Krisiun spewed out than the chunky, snail paced gurggle non-sense of Devourment. There have been a few exceptions: the Space-Slam-Jazz-Grind of Wormed is nothing short of perfect, and Technical Slam Acts like Embryonic Devourment and Dripping have been good. But bands like Cephalotripsy, Katalepsy and Abominable Puridity do very little for me, and at its worst(Waking the Cadaver) it crosses over into War Crime territory.

Pathology, a younger band who are coming in during the Old School Death Metal resurgence(they released their first LP in 2006, near the end of Brutal and Technical Death Metal's reign over Death Metal as a whole), are intriguing though. Although firmly rooted in the realm of Slam Death Metal, Pathology do some cool things: melodic and technical riffs pop in from time to time, and the band write riffs with meat on the bones, while the vocals have actual power, unlike many inhale vocals that sound pathetic and wimpy. These Slam butchers are not the light squishing of bowels, but closer to a chainsaw slicing through a torso. They may still hem to closely to Slam Death for me to ever love them, in small doses Pathology deliver more than most Slam acts not named Wormed.

Awaken the Suffering is another rock solid release from the band, and by now they have mastered their sound: Tech Death riffing with a heavy dose of chunky breakdowns and the occasional moment of melody. There has been very little deviation from this sound over the bands 5 LP's(and impressive number in 5 years). And it works: this is far from the finest composition or most masterful stroke of genius, but in the right situation, Pathology hit hard and with purpose. The production is thoroughly modern: the click click click of drum triggers, the silky smooth guitar tones and the perfectly pitch shifted(slightly, thankfully) vocals are all present, but at least the bass is audible, a nice plus. It is still over-produced, but at least not maddeningly song.

Haters need not apply: there is nothing for die-hard haters of Slam Death, who at the very possibility that a breakdown MIGHT have been played will instantly begin bashing and bashing until they are blue in the face. Pathology might play this style with more authority, talent and song writing skill than most, this is Slam Fucking Death, and it offers few compromises.

I was plenty entertained by Awaken the Suffering. I admit, I am not as picky about my genre's as others might be, but I know shit when I smell it. This is not shit. This is rock solid, fun Death Metal that entertains, not amazes.

Rating: 7/10

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