Abnormality is brutal death metal band hailing from Massachusetts. My first introduction to them, somewhat sadly, was in the one Rock Band track I could not beat on guitar. Yes, this is some pretty technical stuff, and fast to boot. Thei band lists several influences on their Facebook from Hate Eternal and Origin to Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh. After over 10 years together, the band is releasing what is quite possibly their best material yet, Mechanisms of Omniscience. I know I am not alone in feeling that a lot of both the brutal and tech death subgenres can come out feeling soulless and repetetive, but this is a group that knows how to put a muzzle on it.
And while Abnormality doesn't take their sound to the more user-friendly realms of the latest Aborted album, there is still a nice amount of groove to keep things catchy and interesting. The title track below is the perfect example. There is nothing about that song that is not death metal to the core, but the combination of technical battery with assaults of subtle melody (yes, once again I use that term referencing this type of music) make it something that sticks in your head. I must have listened to that single 30 times in anticipation of hearing the whole thing. "Cymatic Hallucinations" is another prime example.
For those who were not aware until seeing that video, I'll briefly address the elephant in the room. Yes, the band is fronted by one of the most impressive female death grunters to grace the genre, Mallika Sundaramurthy. Listening to the album without a visual, you would never know. These gutteral growls know no gender. And that's all that needs to be said about the matter.
But as I said, under the effective use of hooks and said grunts, there is a foundation of the early Florida death metal scene. I would venture to say that this album may be darker, heavier, and more aggressive than Cannibal Corpse's last outing. The snare drum bites like a junkyard Rottweiler and the squeeling, chugging guitars maintain a certain ugliness that is never traded in the seeking of groove. This is probably the best album I have heard in the genre since last year's Church of the Five Precious Words.
My guess is that Mechanisms of Omniscience is going to be the album that the mainstream death metal circuit will be talking about this year. Its had the right marketing, led with the right single, and fortunately backs all of this up with a very solid release full of impressive musicianship and oppressive heaviness. For me, Wormed edges this out a bit in terms of how technically impressive their album was, but Abnormality have the upper hand in being just a touch more accessible. Funny using that word when it comes to brutal music, but its no less true. Stream the monster below.