Abnormality – Sociopathic Constructs (Metal Blade)

Wednesday, 8th May 2019
Rating: 9/10

One of the major keys to being a successful death metal band is being able to make things as brutal as possible, all while maintaining some sort of hook for the listener to grab ahold of. Abnormality have been sharpening their skills at this for over a decade now, and while this is only their third full-length to date, they have really honed things into a razor sharp point with Sociopathic Constructs.

What immediately sticks out, much like every Abnormality release to this date, is just how visceral and intense it is. Every track wants hit you with the immensity of a freight train, with the combination of some rather speedy sections that integrate some bludgeoning drumwork, spiraling and energetic riffs, and Mallika Sundaramurthy’s guttural roars. But if they just stuck with that, they wouldn’t get very far. What stands out, more than ever, on this release is their tenacity to deliver grooves that are just as punishing (if not more so) than cranking away at full speed. “Dying Breed” and “Transmogrification of the Echoborgs” are only two of the tracks that highlight some absolutely violent grooves that never fail to get you moving. It’s catchy, but still composed entirely of unrestrained brutality. It’s a rare feat for a band so heavy to pull something like this off, but they have zero problems doing it (“Curb Stomp” shows this perfectly). They even go so far as to toss in a few melodic moments into the tracks, such as the opening to “A Seething Perversion,” where some melodic guitarwork kicks off before laying into some massive grooves. It’s surprisingly balanced from start to finish in this sense, and the 30-ish minute ‘get in, get out’ mentality is quite effective.

What makes Sociopathic Constructs so invigorating is that no matter what speed Abnormality is playing, it’s going to stick with you. Whether it’s a speed run that kicks you in the teeth, or a mammoth groove that immediately gets your head bobbing, there are plenty of memories to be made. This should be the album that truly pushes them into the upper echelon of the genre.

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