Reviewed: January 2005
Released: 2004, Olympic Recordings
This long running death metal institution has been crushing skulls since its formation in 1991. The band has since had its ups and downs, but have been out of public consciousness for a while for a number of reasons (mostly label issues), with this album originally scheduled for release back in 2001. Needless to say, these guys have been chomping at the bit to get this thing out and reintroduce the world to Internal Bleeding.
For me, this is my first contact with the band and after a bunch of listens through ONWARD TO MECCA, I have to say that I’m somewhat unimpressed. Given the hype, and the pedigree behind this band, I was expecting something that was, if not groundbreaking, then at least innovative and exciting. What I got instead was a slab of serviceable, standard death metal that could come from just about any band out there on the America circuit (no Euro-death melodies here). The band has managed to mesh some of their more hardcore-ish tendencies into the death assault to nice effect. In fact, it’s not immediately obvious when they do it because it is so woven into the traditional death sound that it’s almost hidden, but suddenly jumps out at you and knocks you over.
Despite that, this is still just run of the mill death metal that can be heard on hundreds of different albums. It’s good, but not outstanding. If you are one of those for whom death metal makes up 95% of your metal listening, then you need to add this to your collection. Everyone else should do the old try before buy.
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