Brutal death metal is very hit or miss for me. There is simply no in between. I either really love what a band is doing or I really hate it. Sometimes the vocals are just too cheesy, the production is bad or the guitar tone is flat if I don’t like it. Superb production values, excellent vocal power and heavy hitting guitar riffs usually make it so I love the br00ts and I will listen to the album over and over again. When it comes to Pathology, this bands entire discography has been miss for me. I honestly cannot remember if I even liked an album by them because they have just a stale sense of musicianship and there for a while they released an album per year for about 3 or 4 years. (Except for The Time of Great Purification, I liked that album.) That was obnoxious and I called them the “Call of Duty of death metal” back in 2013. It’s been awhile since Pathology has released anything and just like previous albums….the lineup has changed however the band has recruited older members to rejoin the band so if you liked their 2008-2010 style, then maybe you’ll enjoy this album.
This new slab of 2017 slam is their self titled and it’s also their 9th studio album. Pathology has always seemed average at best with me and this trend continues on the self titled but there is a better flow of riffing and vocals on this release. The production is weak and has no bass in it at all. The songs are definitely heavy and I am on the fence here when it comes to this release. There are certain things that are positive on here and easily some things that are negative. So let’s just touch base with each key ingredient here.
Matti Way (Abominable Putridity) has a disgusting vocal delivery on here. There is little to no effects happening on his vocals besides the layering you’ll hear from time to time but for the most part there is little FX happening on here, you are getting raw grunts and growls here and he honestly sounds good. The vocal production sounds a little thin but it works.
Tim Tiszczenko on guitars are next. The tone is okay. There is no bass coming from the guitar though but maybe the bass guitar will pick up the slack, eh? Riffs are interesting enough with just the right amount of flair, character and heaviness. The riffs are easily the best thing going on here on this record. The worst thing about the guitars though is the tone, while the highs/mids are ok. It just sounds like the bass is turned down to 0. On both the amp and the production. The riffs sound mean but they would sound more mean if it had some bass in it. Speaking of bass, if there even is any, I cannot hear or feel the bass guitar at all on this album. They went all “And Justice For All” on this album with the bass. So if you like your brutal death metal to have the same tone as a black metal album from the 90’s….then you’re in for a treat.
Dave Astor handles the drumming and it is typical Pathology, stale blast beats with no real character or reason. They are meant to help drive the music along or even be the backbone for it but it just feels like the same damn tempo of blast throughout the entire album and it’s always been like that. I hate the drumming on Pathology albums.
It’s not all negative though, I really do like the riffing and vocal delivery on this Pathology release. The song writing is more interesting than past releases and the guitar work grabs me. you’ll also find some surprise guitar solo action happening on here, which was nice. The vocals cruise along with the riffs quite well and gives the album a more powerful sound, even if it’s lacking bass. As predictable as this band once was, the self-titled Pathology album is good. It’s not without it’s flaws but it’s a good, heavy brutal death metal album. Get ready to bang your head.
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
Label: Comatose Music