Pathology – The Time of Great Purification (Victory Records)

Tuesday, 26th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Two-fold trend buckers Pathology are. First, they’re releasing an album barely a year after 2011’s Awaken the Suffering, a rare happening in the silly industry standard two-year wait release schedule. Second, they’re on Victory, a label that has steadily deviated from its tough-guy hardcore roots, but still stands tall in terms of exposure and influence. By finding themselves in a unique position, the San Diego-based death metal troupe has taken advantage of the momentum created last year with The Time of Great Purification, an album that improves upon its predecessor in every facet.

Comparatively speaking, Pathology’s style of brutal death metal holds plenty of water when stacked against the current high-flyers of the style, namely Nile and Cryptopsy. Pathology is nowhere near as elaborate as those two, yet the succinct nature of the album’s 13 tracks is almost d-beat in nature, thus giving the listener enough time to catch up to the riff histrionics on “Corporate Harvest” or the blazing “A Bleak Future.” By falling in line with the brutality first, ask questions later template laid down by the likes of Deeds of Flesh and Cannibal Corpse, one should easily find value in riff-tastic work of guitarist Kevin Schwartz, who handles the guitar work by himself and is of immense value on album highlight “Oppression by Faith.”

The level below Nile and Cannibal Corpse is well within reach for Pathology, who should be served well by the immediate and gripping nature of The Time of Great Purification. We generally balk at bands who follow a set stylistic rulebook, yet Pathology knows what their bread and butter is. Time to keep spreading it on.

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