(Comatose Music, 2017)
#FOR FANS OF: Brutal Death
With a rhythm like a spray of bullets and thunder of artillery erupting up and down a battle line, Pathology runs amok leaving a wake of carnage that disassembles anything in its path. This band conjures images of rolling fortresses misshapen by arrays of weaponry in a seemingly random assortment of calibers and missile pods made for massacre rather than as an figure to appreciate. Made all the more imposing by their terrifying silhouettes stretching across blood-soaked battlegrounds, a regiment of these harbingers prognosticates the twilight of civilization. Unlike many inappreciable weapons systems of yore, shredded in scrap yards and burned on roadsides, there is a meticulous method to Pathology's misshapen steeds as they make their mad rush to scorch the earth through an album that transitions from a bewildering first blast to an exhaustive meditation on technique.
Eleven years old and on its ninth full-length album, this California outfit is an experienced mainstay of the brutal death metal realm and continues to plunge itself into the undulating pits of flesh that dot this world of sickness and gore. Immediately to the point, each song involves the slamming percussive patterns symbolic of the sub-genre as the ensemble forms an ever-morphing ball of aggression where strings attempt to breach the viscous surface, beating themselves to exhaustion and squeezed back into their confines by the fleshy crush. In “Litany” a thrashing surge enhances the guitars' muddy bounce. Behind it is an enticing lick here and there that takes center stage with higher pitch that wraps the guitars in harmony far above the abyssal bedlam. These aberrations stand far out against a series of slams and stomps that shows a serious focus on technique and packs each song to the brim with undulating variations on its restless rhythms. After an abrupt solo and a massive breakdown, the end of “Servitors” features a bit of Suffocation flair through a momentary guitar trill, just barely noticeable in the background of the romp and stomp, while “Shudder” showcases the intricacies of this down-tuned guitar dance alongside a magnetic vocal delivery that creates a disturbing accompaniment to an already obtuse album.
Pathology makes some very serious, very focused, ultra-brutal death metal in the veins of Texas' Devourment, Russia's Katalepsy, and Scotland's Cerebral Bore. Disgusting and indecipherable gutturals maintain the forefront, guitars fling themselves into pits of filth and arise with momentary screams while barely getting a chance to elaborate in merely two solos in this album, one in “Servitors” and another in “Vermillion”. Drumming consistently drives each song towards a fresh examination of the overall structure with astute variations, gravity blasts, and brutal bass kicking galore. Pathology is down and dirty while still remaining professional. This ninth studio album is a series of brutal death metal mainstays done very well with enough personal touch to keep the music fresh and versatile as it plunges deeper into realms of revulsion.