After three years of silence, Pathology, the brutal death metal outfit from California, brings us their ninth studio album. The self-titled “Pathology”, was released on Comatose Music Label, at the end of last year.
The band had many lineup changes in its existence, but Dave Astor (the drummer), always remained as the original member and mastermind behind the band’s sound and lyrical themes. From 2008 to 2014, Pathaology managed to create and release a new album each year, in which they crafted their own style of brutal death metal. But after so many releases, has this formula burned out?
This new Pathology album contains ten songs for a total of 32 minutes of playtime. After being in and out of the band a couple of times, Matti Way (Disgorge, Abominable Putridity, Liturgy, among others), provides guttural spewings once again. This time taking a more burping/grunting approach to the vocal style, sometimes double layering it with his own vocals. The result is a disgustingly amazing guttural atmosphere that sounds like a grotesque mutation of the human voice.
Dave’s drumming is phenomenal as always. Sharp, precise blast beats that can be recognized as one of the band’s trademarks, as well as the typical groove oriented passages that are soaked in by the string works of Tim Tiszczenko and Oscar Ramirez. The Pathology styled riffs are still present here. Pinpoint accurate, like an ever evolving dissection and scientific experiment, the shredding will sometimes be accompanied by solos, in tracks like “Servitors”. This demonstrates the musical range that this band can incorporate in the brutal death metal genre, without leaving their own identity behind.
Although the production, songwriting and lyrical landscape remain the same at its core, the Pathology formula presents itself as a double-edged scalpel. After nine albums, this same sound, even if always improved, can represent just more of the same for some listeners. Although for others it will be a joy to know that the band keeps true to itself, not changing what they are like so many other bands do, evolving into wrong paths and straying away from their original sound.
Many corpses were dissected, mutated, dismembered, and so many other disgustingly clinic verbs and actions you can imagine throughout Pathology’s career. Since 2009’s “Age Of Onset”, all of the band’s album artworks have been made by the master that Par Olofsson is. The imagery is depicting these same corpses and a mad scientist who is constantly injecting green fluids into them. However this time, the mad scientist is finally eaten alive by the corpses, just like the listener will be while experiencing the sheer brutality of this album. Only the future will tell the fate of the doctor. But for now, the sickness of the Pathology brutal death recipe still reigns supreme.