Abnormality – Mechanisms of Omniscience (Metal Blade)

Genre: Death Metal

The US East Coast has spawned wave after wave of quality death metal outfits over the last three decades, and while not in the same league as some of their forebears, Abnormality are an intriguing proposition. Like many of their US contemporaries, they wear their technical ability as a badge of pride; each track on this is maelstrom of dexterous fretwork and superhuman drumming, with the quintet flitting effortlessly between tempo changes. The likes of Irreversible and Consuming Infinity are almost unhinged, and sticksman Jay Blaisdell acts as the perfect conductor, simultaneously driving and harnessing the chaos Abnormality create.

Yet to label this Massachusetts mob as yet another bland technical DM band would do them a grave disservice: the savage, pulverising assault that makes, say, Cannibal Corpse so formidable can be heard on Synthetic Pathogenesis, while there’s a sinister, disturbing feel to Cymatic Hallucinations – at least when it’s not in full blast mode. Vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy, meanwhile, gifts us a performance that’s nothing short of devastating, raising the ferocity levels higher with every guttural roar.

Unfortunately, Abnormality are prone to shoehorning to many ideas into one tune at times, but when they’re going for the jugular (the awesome title track for instance) they make one hell of a mess. A band to watch.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Omni-potent