Release DetailsLABEL Conquest Music
RELEASED ON 9/23/2003
Rise to Power
posted on 11/2003 By:
When you think of American Death Metal you probably have Florida cross your mind a bit. After all it gave us Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation and Monstrosity. These three have been kicking and screaming and generally blasheming for more than a decade, through the grunge, postpopunk and numetal trends, through seeming disfavor within portions of the underground metal community, and through the brutalification of death metal itself. And while the level of product quality has, at the very least, varied over the years, the spirit of extending corruption through decidedly technical music has persisted. Monstrosity began sowing the fields of decay around 1990, and has always managed to put out some competent, if not always head turning music. This latest disc finds them in very fine form indeed, displaying the sense of pummeling riffs broken up with tasty grooves that you would expect from a veteran squad like this. In fact, the strength of this record is in its use of varied tempos and ideas. It's a remarkably fresh sounding record for being from a decade plus old band. It doesn't sound out of place alongside some of the modern whizdeath kids even if it lacks some of their raw brutality. The flare is there and with it the confidence of a band that knows what it wants to do. Starting with some solid drumming - not astounding, but certainly up to the task at hand the band plays the old style death metal you would expect. Lots of shredding solos, lots of changeup riffs and beats. No slouches, but not precise to the point of being clinical, either. The singer has the Corpsegrinder ability to vary his roars in pitch to give his vocals emotional emphasis, bringing the level of involvement by the listener way up. I have good and bad things to say about the production, however. On the one hand it's clear, clean and displays each instrument without muddying up the sound. The guitars have a crisp, edgy feel that really works for this band. The vocals are a bit pronounced, but it's not a big deal. The problem is that, while bright and clean, the sound is also too thin on the drums and bass - again. This creates a top heavy feeling that really distracts and annoys. With such great, heavy songs and lively performances, the production could have been a lot better. Sometimes clarity is not the most important aspect of metal recordings. Bottom Line: this is classic death metal recorded with modern sensibilities - both good and bad - and is mainly a successful record worthy of any aficionado’s attention. It suffers from thinning drums and basses, but it has aggression and confidence. Each tune stands apart and the performances are straight forward and bullshitless. This isn't going to toss anything off my best of year list, but it's going to sit comfortably in my collection and I will listen to it again.
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