Abnormality – “Mechanisms Of Omniscience” (Metal Blade Records)
In just eight years this young Massachusetts band have come along way. Although only their second release, “Mechanisms Of Omniscience” is quintessential technical US death metal rivaling the ranks of the rancid like Suffocation, Cryptopsy and even the mighty Hate Eternal. Fronted by femme vocal destroyer Mallika Sundaramurthy, who by all accounts is one of the most convincing lady death metallers I’ve ever heard, she rivals any man yet retains a suave feminine touch that adds to the sophistication of the band’s music – and naturally, its brutality! The technical composition and musicianship of these guys cannot be understated – it’s just perfect, bringing together all the best death metal riffs, nasty licks and most of all, amazingly catchy death grooves. Guitarists Jez Henry and new boy Sam Kirsch just pile into one another all over the songs, while grinding over you the next, all amidst a flurry of technical melodies and fretboard runs. Drummer Jay Blaisdell is particularly impressive, no mean feat considering the high standing of his peers, with his blasting drum power but moreover, his technical work which is just all over the material, and being up front in the mix thanks to longtime producer Peter Rutcho, adds even more measure to songs like ‘Swarm’, ‘Cymatic Hallucinations‘ and ‘Irreversible‘. Despite their name, Abnormality aren’t some run of the mill cookie monster contenders, with all the band involved in the composing and furthermore, reflecting intellect around subjects such as control systems and where mankind as a civilization is heading, and where dreams, illusions and fallacies are all exposed. Likewise, Sundaramurthy’s taste in art extends to dark fantasy and surrealist artists such as Zdzisław Beksiński, Wayne Barlowe, and Dan Seagrave, as reflected in the powerful and disturbing abstract album cover – hope that’s not her on a bad day ha ha! Whatever the case, Abnormality’s strong desire to explore uncharted territory while keeping to their roots of aggressive, yet technical and atmospheric death metal will stand them in good stead in making their mark on this world.