Abnormality – Mechanisms of Omniscience (Metal Blade)

Wednesday, 20th April 2016
Rating: 9/10

One death metal band that has slugged it out over the years is Massachusetts’ Abnormality. Some may remember them as “that death metal band” on Rock Band 2 or from their previous EP and full-length Contamination of the Hive Mind (back in 2012). Regardless, if the band has somehow escaped your grasp up until now, seeings how they were wisely snagged up by Metal Blade, Mechanisms of Omniscience is the perfect time to get up to speed.

No-frills death metal is what Abnormality have done for years, and Mechanisms merely acts as the most thorough and enhanced version of that formula. While the band have adopted some influences from the region in terms of death metal, such as a NYDM slant, the piece that gives Abnormality their identifiable sound is their intensity at full speed. A huge wall of death metal sound: enclosed in blastbeats, Mallika Sundaramurthy’s intense growls, and frantic/sprawling technical riffs. One needs to look no further than the opening seconds of “Swarm” to hear exactly this quality. While hard to explain, it’s easily recognizable as Abnormality.

But dizzying riffs and blastbeats don’t exactly make for a memorable album, as much of an adrenaline rush as it may provide. Thankfully Abnormality also converges their speed with moments of groove and mid-tempo riffs that are nothing short of crushing. Check out the Suffocation-esque stomp of the title track that swerves into neckbreaking territory halfway through the track. This same feeling is later elicited on “Vigilant Ignorance” when the band slows things down. Truth be told, the strongest element of Mechanisms of Omniscience is how the band never relents from their death metal brutality, yet still find a way to make each track memorable. Whether it’s groove, a subtle hook hidden within a frenetic riff, or a well-timed growl, something will catch your ear. The two instrumentals are even notable, providing a breather while maintaining heaviness and injecting it with some darkened atmosphere.

Want blazing speed and chaos wrapped alongside chunky and memorable grooves? Mechanisms of Omniscience is just for you. It stays true to its vision of death metal while sneaking in curiously memorable riffs to keep you on your toes and ensuring that you’ll be back for more. With the proper backing of Metal Blade, the stage is set for Abnormality to really blow up in 2016.

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