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Pathology
Pathology
June 2017
Released: 2017, Comatose Music
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

For a good while it seemed like San Diego’s Pathology had an almost clockwork precision to their release schedule, consistently unleashing a new platter of punishing death metal on the unworthy masses each and every year since 2008. And with each successive release, the band got better and better; the trifecta of THE 2012’s TIME OF GREAT PURIFICATION (technical, almost Dying Fetus territory), 2013’s LORDS OF REPHAIM (oppressive, low tuned death sludge) and 2014’s THRONE OF REIGN (melodic slam shred?) were each impressive releases that demonstrated Pathology’s versatility in the brutal death spectrum. That track record of quality and consistency makes you wonder what the band did with their time in the 3 years between THRONE OF REIGN and their latest and self-titled album, PATHOLOGY.



Coming off an album like THRONE OF REIGN, PATHOLOGY is a bit of a disappointment. It’s like the band was attempting to make a primitive, ultra-brutal statement, but sacrificed songwriting and anything else interesting in the process to get there. The tunes are full of one-dimensional, slammed out Terrorizer riffs that were stale 20 years ago, the drums sound like a someone’s jamming on the space bar of a Smith Corona typewriter one click at a time, and vocalist Matti Way takes his sub-guttural emanations WAY over the top, sounding more like a night of well-rounded taco farts reverberating around the porcelain throne than a sick and scary death metal vocalist. There’s nary a trace of the compositional complexity that graced much of Pathology’s recent output. Tracks like “Litany”, “Dissevered” and “Putrescent” have some character and offer hope, but most of PATHOLOGY feels painfully paint-by-numbers. Let’s put it this way – if Six Feet Under is the poor man’s Cannibal Corpse, PATHOLOGY is the poor man’s Pathology.



And the irony of Pathology’s rekindled relationship with Comatose Music shouldn’t be lost either; the band has likely inspired most of the label’s current roster, yet this new album sounds like something you’d expect from one of their youngest signings – not an elder statesman of the brutal death metal genre. The truth may hurt, but at least it’s always honest.



If there’s any good that comes out of this, it’s 1) Pathology is officially back – and that means gigging, promotion, and hopefully another album in less than 3 years, and 2) we learn that the evil alien scientist that’s adorned so many of their album covers is having a very bad day. And at the end of that very bad day, fans will buy this because it’s a Pathology record and Comatose has tremendous reach, both of which are ultimately good for the scene. PATHOLOGY is a bittersweet return for one of brutal death metal’s best and brightest; hopefully we get the album we deserve soon enough.
Track Listing

1. Lamentation
2. Dolorous
3. Litany
4. Servitors
5. Dissevered
6. Putrescent
7. Doth
8. Shudder
9. Opprobrium
10. Vermilion

Lineup

Dave Astor - Drums
Matti Way - Vocals
Tim Tiszczenko – Guitar


Next review: » Pathology - Pathology
Previous review: » Pathology - Awaken To The Suffering

Pathology
Pathology
June 2017
Released: 2017, Comatose Music
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

One's taste for brutal death metal can often come down to just how much vomitous vocalizing one can handle. And Southern California's Pathology boast one of the gnarlier, barfier vocalists in the game in Matti Way, long-ago frontman with, fittingly, Disgorge.



“Disgorging” is what Way does in every sense. His delivery seems like one prolonged heave from way deep down, interrupted only by the occasional gag, cough or belch. And, as such, his vocals are utterly unintelligible.



I'm assuming there are lyrics to be found on the band's self-titled ninth album, but I don't know as I'd put money on it. The cryptic, one-word song titles here - “Dolorous,” “Doth,” “Vermilion,” “Servitors” - don't exactly give anything away, but at least they steer clear of the usual gory tropes.



Still, if there is something deep going on here – a la Cattle Decapitation, drummer Dave Astor's old band – there's really no way to tell. Way comes across like Mr. Creosote from “Monty Python's The Meaning of Life” after that last “wafer thin” cookie sets off his projectile puke-a-thon, and gets right down to it from note one of the opening track “Lamentation.”



The band's simple, groovy chug is the perfect accompaniment for Way's emanations, lurching and heaving this way and that without getting all uber-technical or needlessly complicated. It's corrosive, blunt-object death metal that offers few frills and maximizes the brutality.



Astor's drumming does it's best to approximate a rivet gun and Tim Tiszczenko riffs churn and grind with relentless glee, punctuated by meaty hooks that at times are outright catchy – in spite of Way's 'urping vocals. The elegant melodic lead break in the album's finale “Vermillion” makes for a nice, if jarring, surprise. It's a rare moment of beauty in an otherwise ceaseless display of ugliness.
Track Listing

1. Lamentation
2. Dolorous
3. Litany
4. Servitors
5. Dissevered
6. Putrescent
7. Doth
8. Shudder
9. Opprobrium
10. Vermilion

Lineup

Matti Way - vocals
Tim Tiszczenko - guitars
Dave Astor - drums, vocals


Next review: » Pathosray - Pathosray
Previous review: » Pathology - Awaken To The Suffering





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