Saturday, September 17, 2011

Initial Impressions: Pathology: Awaken to the Suffering

I recently started listening to a lot of slam death again, after a few months hiatus from it. And when I went to the music store to see about getting the new Anthrax album, they also had the new Pathology album. I enjoyed their last album quite a bit so I decided to get this one.

First off, it's pretty bizarre to find a slam death album in a store like Hastings, but that has more to do with the weird fact that Pathology is on Victory Records, a well-known hardcore label. Also, Pathology is a bit more accessible than most other slam death, a point that I discussed at length in the review for their album last year.

Pathology exists on the border between slam death and plain brutal death. The riffs are definitely influenced by Devourment but there is a lot more going on musically as well. For one, you will actually hear the occasional guitar solo in Pathology's stuff. This has basically always been the case with Pathology, the band really is not easily pigeonholed as a simple slam band as groups like Abominable Putridity or Katalepsy or Vomit Remnants. They utilize a lot of slam parts, but there has always been more to it than that.

Pathology is also more accessible than other slam bands because of their lyrical focus. Pathology is not devoted to gore and misogyny, opting instead to focus on other matters. Song titles like "Media Consumption", "Society's Desolation", and "Opposing Globalization" probably will not appear on the next Putrid Pile record.

With all that said, Pathology is a decent band and this is a decent record. There is a lot going on here. Huge fans of Suffocation probably are not going to be terribly impressed because the band does not do some of the things Suffocation does as well, but in a slam context, this is a pretty good album.

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