Released: 2006, Grindethic Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
When one thinks of Lebanon, the first thought usually is not of blackened grinding death metal but that is exactly what that country’s Oath To Vanquish has unleashed with their debut, APPLIED SCHIZOPHRENIC SCIENCE. The drums of Carlos Abboud are vicious and unrelenting, while Elias Abboud’s riffs slice and dice with surprising precision. Vocals, which appear to be handled by all three members, are a mix of piercing shrieks, guttural growls and even the occasional pig squeal. Bridging several genres, APPLIED SCHIZOPHRENIC SCIENCE will appeal to many and is destined to be one of the bigger surprises of 2006.
Kicking off with the fierce but melodic “Pear of Anguish,” the vocals are mostly incomprehensible gurgles but some blackened shrieks are also present. Underscoring the mid-tempo brutality is a hook-y riff that leads into a finale that will ignite many a circle pit. The lower-than-low growls that open “Funeral In F Sharp” are ugly and disturbing but when placed alongside the raw shrieks, it works really well. Likewise, the slow, brutal midsection of “Executive Onslaught” is bookended with surges of speedy, blackened death that form a perfect symbiosis. The band’s blacke metal influences really shine through on “Sulphuric Semen” (love the title!) and “Symptoms of Accrued Transgression” with grim vocals and fast, intrinsic guitarwork. A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it instrumental symphonic track, “Sorrow In Adornment,” channels bands like Dimmu Borgir but the intensity of “Coat-Hanger Massacre” ends the album on a merciless note, never letting up and going straight for the jugular with frenzied double bass and fright-filled vocals.
It’s time to put Lebanon on the heavy metal map because Oath To Vanquish is a real surprise. APPLIED SCHIZOPHRENIC SCIENCE demonstrates a band with a lot of promise and unbridled ferocity. Don’t let the gory splatter death songtitles dissuade you from checking this album out, either. Showing surprising maturity, much-needed originality and overall excellence, APPLIED SCHIZOPHRENIC SCIENCE is definitely an album to watch.
KILLER KUTS: “Pear of Anguish,” “Funeral In F Sharp,” “Executive Onslaught,” “Toxic Bowel Maneuver,” “Coat-Hanger Massacre”