I feel I should start this one off by saying that Pathology are not for everyone. They’re sick, vile, disgusting and oftentimes offensive brand of brutal death metal is heavy beyond words and so atonal that even a lot of metalheads are turned off. The riffs are dissonant, sometimes inaudible, and the vocals are so guttural it sounds like the death throes of a thousand slaughtered boars. It’s unrelenting, in your face, take no fucking prisoners metal that belongs in Hershell Gordon Lewis‘ basement. That being said, I fucking love this band. Everything I just mentioned should not be taken as panning but outright praise for this pestiferous brand of brutal slam death. And with their newest sacrificial offering, Awaken To The Suffering, they have stepped up their game once again, delivering what is likely to be one of the heaviest releases of the year.
As it should, the album starts off with a no-holds-barred slow churning riff that will dry out your organs and churn them into dust. Within seconds Jonathan Huber‘s vocals come at you like the Trash Can Man in a flurry of gurgled, unintelligible growling frenzy, accompanied by dissonant guitar chugs and balls-to-the-wall drumming. The album continues its tradition of pelting you in the face over and over again with nasty, enormous riffs, as any fan of Pathology would expect, but where things change up a bit is in the songwriting itself. A lot of the unrelentingly heavy-to-the-point-of-aural-badgering aspects have been tweaked, flattened, and reformed into something fresh and new. The riffs, while maintaining their heaviness as any good slam metal album will, are catchy as fuck! They even sprinkle a guitar solo in here and there which definitely breaks up the monotony that so typically encompasses the genre. Not to mention that “Prolonging The Suffering”has one of the heaviest breakdowns I’ve ever heard, putting bands like The Acacia Strain and Suicide Silence to shame.
In short, even if you don’t “get” brutal death metal; even if you can’t stand the gurgling vocals; even if none of this sounds appealing to you, you need to check out this band. They’re making strides in a genre that is known for its unabashed disregard for the norm or any sort of popular appraisal. I’ve been a fan for a long time, but I have to say this album is exactly where brutal/slam metal needs to be headed, and even though purists will probably disagree, citing the more “mainstream” approach as “selling out” (and they’ll probably blame the fact that their signed to Victory Records for it) this is one seriously ugly album, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Check out the video for the track “Media Consumption” here to give the album a taste, and if you like what you hear, go grab it right now!
Awaken To The Suffering – 8.6/10
1. Dissected By Righteousness
2. Ingestion Of Creation
3. Hostility Towards Conformity
4. Media Consumption
5. Society’s Desolation
6. Prolonging The Suffering
7. A Perverse Existence
8. Humanity’s Cesspool
9. Festering In Filth
10. Opposing Globalization
12. Revocation Of Earth
Favorite Song: Opposing Globalization