Biomechanical – Cannibalised (Earache Records)

Thursday, 14th March 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

Live, Biomechanical may be notoriously hit and miss, but on record they’ve never been known to under-perform. Cannibalised continues in that vein, this time offering up much more of a challenging, furious listening experience than on previous outings. Sound-wise, main-man John K, has upped the ante on all fronts and gone for a steep wall of sound approach, filling almost every possible corner with a sheer, sometimes impenetrable covering of noise. Basically you’re thinking along the lines of Strapping Young Lad to get an idea just how thick he’s managed to make this sound. While still retaining the shrieking, ball shrinking vocals and orchestral swirls of before Cannibalisedcertainly comes across as much harder and solid sounding.

The title track is a hulking behemoth, high-pitched vocals squealing out at you from under huge, caterpillar tread tracks of riffs and red hot machine gun, spit soloing. The SYL comparisons unmistakable in both the throttling texture of the music and in John K’s vocals, which also show a love for Judas Priest. “Slow The Poison” shifts from full on destruction riffing to a full tilt thrash approach with once again powerful vocals, while “Breathing Silence” takes a few hints from Pantera. The full, ferocious sound which fills the room throws out continuous, big, schizo, twisting, turning riffs and songs that it’s easy to get bowled over by and occasionally lost in. Ultimately crushing on occasion though you can’t help but feel they may have taken on a little too much. It’s rare however and more often than not they’re up to the challenge.

Throughout Cannibalised is a painstakingly put together piece of work that shows true dedication and certainly more than just a little talent. The SYL comparisons do dog it a little, but they drift off as it progresses. The cinematic orchestral and haunting choral elements call to mind Cradle Of Filth circaDamnation And A Day or Dimmu Borgir, especially on “Consumed.” An epic combination of terrifyingly scattered spoken word vocals cut through with well timed bursts of keyboards/strings and confounding, building drums. It’s like being chased blindly through the dark rooms of a haunted house, something evil quickly gaining up on you. Culminating with a full force tornado at the end of “Violent Descent,” things close on a suitably disturbing and abrupt note. You want non-stop face-peeling metal action, you’re not going to get much better than this.

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