2011, Amputated Vein Records / Malignant Manifestation Productions
Misanthropy: The word may conjure images of a teen-angst ridden whiny goth sat in his bedroom, cutting himself (but not too deeply) whilst spinning the latest release by a certain Mr Manson, and fantasising about necrophilia due to the complications afforded by actual living, breathing females who he’s unable to actually engage with, owing to his completely self-absorbed existence as he masturbates furiously with the lubrication afforded by his own tears.
Yes, the word may conjure such an image. Thankfully, these self-proclaimed purveyors of misanthropic technical death-grind are far removed from such a puerile definition of the term. The assailing barrage of deftly composed noise is tight, sophisticated and ultimately very fucking depressing. Like a particularly dejected lemming who’s turned to speed to alleviate the despondency of its own existence, each of the four tracks on offer here brims over with anger and misery in equal measure. Enough indeed to turn one of even the most positive disposition into a bitter, twisted wretch.
As well as the death & grind elements, there is a clear doomy black metal influence on display here; particularly on Abhorrent Evolution & A Modern Prometheus, which simultaneously manages to further the general feel of negativity while never really bringing the overall tempo down too much. Although, that may be largely down to Rushy’s drum work which marries groove and passion with a non-stop machine-gun kick which eviscerates everything it comes into contact with.
Yet it’s the dominance of drums and bass in the mix which makes for a difficult listen. With particular reference to the first three tracks, drums and bass mask the majority of the outstanding guitar work meaning that in order to get the most out of what’s on offer, the listener has to strain to make out the nuances in riffs – and when the riffs are this fast and this complex, is not an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, this isn’t just a problem with the rhythm guitars: On the opener Born into Decadence as well as its successor – Abhorrent Evolution – the tones of a melodic solo, which should soar above the rest of the composition, are reduced to vague strains; lessening the impact so that it doesn’t quite achieve the effect of an emotional sucker-punch which it should.
Nevertheless; fight your way past the rhythm section and what you is some absurdly technical riffing, crafted together to form incredibly well-composed tracks which, while sharing an overall theme – retain an individuality. Thankfully, the problems with production are cleared-up somewhat for the last track, meaning the release ends strongly – as it deserves to.
The tortured, high-pitched vocals of Zac Broughton permeate the whole, increasing the air torment – although I can’t help thinking that they would have more effect if the guttural backing vocals were given a little more prevalence overall.
Despite all petty criticisms, this is a well-polished, professional release that revels in the dark atmosphere that pours from the speakers like a blackened sludge from the Devil’s bowels after a particularly intense night on the Guinness, as well as being a true lesson in technical musicianship while never sacrificing composition on the altars of self-indulgence. Many bands could learn quite a few lessons from these fine fellows!