Abnormality – “Sociopathic Constructs” (Metal Blade Records)
Forget the spin dryer – here comes Abnormality! Convinced that ‘.. the world we live in is a fucking mental hospital…’ this Boston technical death metal band add their own cacophony into the global catastrophe with this 3rd album. Like the onset of some cataclysmic tornado, “Sociopathic Constructs” isn’t about mass appeal, but rather mass destruction – of your mind, body and spirit – as you try desperately to cling on while the nuclear blast beats, cyclonic guitar shredding and shock wave bass smash and twist you over again and again like some musical death roll. Then there’s the ‘vocals’ of Mallika Sundaramurth. Could this actually be a person given it sounds more like some hungry she beast growling, roaring and screaming in the blood red moon?! Needless to say, if you haven’t got it by now “Sociopathic Constructs” is one brutal mutha, harshly reflecting the darkness and violence of this world across its 8 monstrous tracks. Befitting Abnormality’s apocalyptic vision, songs like ‘Kakistocracy’ certainly bring it to light through massive, chundering guitars that whirr like buzzsaws as the double bass drumming blitzes away in perfect synchronicity while subtle tempo changes induce catchy groove patterns atop which Sundaramurth adds her visceral roars. While for some this may seem like some mayhemic quagmire, having been formed from various acts with 2 full length albums already notched and toured with the likes of Soulfly, Suffocation and Battlecross, it’s pretty clear that Abnormality’s cerebral offerings are to be respected as much as their perfected savagery. Indeed, the stylish bass lines and tremolo picking heralding ‘A Seething Perversion’ manifest their technicality while the energy from the sheer drive of the song is nothing short of breathtaking, while in its slower (yes, slower) moments, there’s definitely a nod to the old school of Morbid Angel, indicating a wide range of influences – albeit only from the best inspirations. Impressing even more, the band choose to push out the boundaries on ‘Transmogrification Of The Echoborgs’, which is actually pretty atmospheric and has a big, epic sound thanks to the production of Peter Rutcho (Revocation, Soul Remnants) and Shane Frisby (Becoming The Archetype, Bury Your Dead), not that it takes away from the stamping ferocity and electric fretboard work, but the mix of slow and fast pieces have been arranged excellently, making for a highly memorable and catchy number. Equally, on the album’s longest track ‘A Catastrophic and Catalyzing Event’, the band prove how, over 5 minutes, they are able to captivate and satiate across a number of passages not just differing in speed, but styles of technical, old school and even mixtures through dark riffs, fast tremolo runs, modern metal soloing and of course, not forgetting Sundaramurth’s terror inducing roars. Extreme music it certainly is, but when played with this much sophistication, “Sociopathic Constructs” could appeal to many more…..