Pathology – Awaken to the Suffering (Victory Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 7/10

Blistering doesn’t envy any new death metal band trying to make it in the “game.” It’s not easy out there; rather it’s impossible out there. And when you’re stacked up against hundreds of other similarly-minded bands, it’s like you’re constantly swimming upstream, which is something San Diego’s Pathology have probably grown accustomed to since joining Victory Records in 2010 for their Legacy of the Ancients album. This is textbook brutal death metal, American-style, and on their latest Awaken To the Suffering, Pathology certainly keeps it brutal and hopefully remembered to wear their floaties. Swimming can be perilous.

With a direct line to virtually every band on the Unique Leader Records roster, Pathology don’t seem to be concerned with song variation. Rather, the 12 songs here are rough and tumble slabs of extreme metal, with the pre-requisite album of gurgling from singer Jonathan Huber and blast-beats from drummer Dave Astor (ex-Cattle Decapitation). Wisely keep the song lengths to a minimum, Pathology piles on the beating with savory slabs like “Ingestion of Creation” and “Prolonging the Suffering” being the standouts.

The only reprieve comes at the very end in the form of the melodic bit “Revocation of Earth.” Best-suited to be an album opener, “Revocation of Earth” was probably placed at the end knowing that those of the brutal death metal nature cannot stand the sound of melody. It’s no wonder they can’t – they’ve spent all their time being pummeled by one-dimensional death metal.

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