A full ten years after their Death influenced brutal death metal debut full-length, under the name Abolishment, this Amarillo, Texas based project has evolved into a one man band with a few hired guns to help with lead guitars and live performances. I mean hey, if you listened to their ‘Decimation’ EP from 2012 and thought it was the same rote and lifeless brutal death metal that Unique Leader‘s line-up had worn out across the previous decade we’d be on the same page. Whether it was due to conflicts or a lack of control I’m glad Ramon Cazares took full reign for this album as ‘The Inhuman Condition’ is not only the best release from the project to date but a brutally dense and varied death metal hammer. It’s brilliant guitar work gives nods to everything from Dissection, Death and Kataklysm with a uniquely brutal-yet-melodic death metal style.
Were I to pluck my favorites from the pantheon of brutal/melodic death metal conundrum I’d barely escape with a handful of worthy lineage. The closest thing to Abolishment of Flesh might be Kronos‘ ‘Colossal Titan Strife’, a French brutal death metal album with a great melodic sense that never translated as saccharine or forced. Likewise a lot of the more melodic moments on ‘The Inhuman Condition’ have the same sensibility of the Swedish death inspired fourth album from Fleshcrawl, ‘Bloodred Massacre’ but the comparison is loose outside of pacing and melody. Even closer still is perhaps Kataklysm‘s second full-length ‘The Temple of Knowledge’ for it’s brutal drumming and similar melodic underpinning. Of course Cazares‘ drumming and guttural vocal performances are capable of infinitely more brutal Suffocation or Cryptopsy influenced blast-rhythms by any comparison. The balance of intricate old school progressive technical death metal, European melodic death/black, and Texas style brutal death metal is noisome and aggressive but somehow never ventures into incredibly poor taste.
For all of it’s intensity I think ‘The Inhuman Condition’ could have been left at around 35 minutes though I’d hate to not include any particular track. My favorite moments are obviously going to be the more melodic death/heavy metal riff pockets so the first standout for my taste is the Dissection influenced melodeath of “Slaves of Animosity” that gives a bit of breathing room after the sheer brutality of the first three tracks on the record. “Lack of Emotions” and “Weeping for the Decayed” also feature just enough melodic death metal reprieve within the chaos of gargling brutal death metal that it feels like a unique and interesting experience. “The Suffering” is perhaps the best track that incorporates melodic death influences and reminds me of Abominant‘s third full-length with it’s careful imitation of Swedish melodic death/black through the eyes of midwest/southern US death metal. There are enough points of interest for both fans of melodic death and brutal death metal for Abolishment of Flesh‘s to thrive in either ear though none of the melodic parts offer the pure hooks of the classics and none of the brutality is necessarily modern or earth shattering in 2018.
I had a good time with this record. I think it could have shaved off a few minutes just to limit it’s oppressive nature closer to a half hour or so. If you’re equally thrilled by brutal death metal drumming and classic melodic death/black metal riffs then there’s a whole freakin’ album of that stuff right here and Cazares‘ vision is incredibly well realized within a worthy mix of each style. If the first half of the album is too brutal bro-fest for you the second half should redeem, so I’d give the entirety of the record a chance if possible. If you could sample any section of the ‘The Inhuman Condition’ I’d recommend the combo of “The Suffering” and “Throne of Deception” as it’ll show their peak melodic extreme metal skills, a brief bit of Death influence, as well as a glimpse of the brutal death metal urgency offered throughout. A must listen for fans of the Unique Leader / Willowtip old guard as well as folks who like Scaphism and Regurgitate Life in equity.
|Released||April 20th, 2018|
|Pre-Order CD/LP from Unholy Anarchy||Follow Abolishment of Flesh on Facebook|
A twisted maze. 3.0/5.0
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