Near Death Condition – Evolving Towards Extinction (Unique Leader)

Thursday, 27th March 2014
Rating: 7/10

Death metal reference check: Morbid Angel, Anata, Hate Eternal, Immolation, Gorguts.  Chances are if you enjoy any of those bands listed above, you’ll enjoy Evolving Towards Extinction, Near Death Condition’s second effort for Unique Leader.  That’s really the best way to come out and say it.

This is death metal that’s done in the highest regards of brutality.  The technical presence of Anata, the wall of fury a la Hate Eternal, and the thundering crunch of Immolation when they decide to slow it down pretty much sums up what you will find on Evolving Towards Extinction.  Not to say that Near Death Condition is a straight-up copycat, but far from it.  NDC understands the difference between honoring influences and simply repeating them, and it’s the nuances and attention to detail that Evolving Towards Extinction finds it’s strength and footing.  From the lumbering beginning of “Nostalgia For Chaos,” to the chanting on “Intelligent Design” and “Between The Dying and The Dead”, to the blistering technically-ridden pace of “Praise the Lord of Negation,” there is plenty of ear-candy to be had.  There is even some occasional groove and atmosphere to be had (“Anagamin”), if you feel that the pace is too intense.

Unfortunately, despite all of these great selling points, the one thing keeping Near Death Condition from entering the death metal elite is that of replayability.  Evolving Towards Extinction is nothing but great while it plays, yet when it’s over, there’s no compelling reason to start it over again.  Like many death metal albums, despite its best efforts, it does fall prey to the repetition syndrome.  There are certainly highlights (as previously mentioned), but by the end of the 51-minute playtime, it just seems like there is too much of a retread among the tracks.  If you are looking for a technically proficient dose of brutality, Evolving Towards Extinction will satiate your hungers.  The question is merely how long will it be until you need your next meal?

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