Review Summary: A fast and melodious death metal assault, In Dark Purity is certainly the strongest contender for the position of Monstrosity's best album.
Monstrosity is a curiously effective band. It's unfortunate that they tend to be simply ignored as "the band that guy from CC came from", because their albums are all pretty darn solid. While none of their albums are exactly essential, all but Rise To Power are solid and entertaining, often featuring a potent mixture of rapid speed, melody, and technical riffing. This approach is present on several of their albums but In Dark Purity
might well be the most definitive example, and it's certainly the one with the most material to sift through, and while it isn't the most distinct of their works it's certainly one of their most consistent.
There are few changes on In Dark Purity from the elements found on Millennium, their previous offering. The guitarwork is less self consciously technical, making it feel a bit more focused and consistent, while also allowing for some improved riffs with the somewhat more controlled approach. There's also a greater focus on open tremolo picked segments, making it feel a lot more rapid in terms of its course, and the solos are absolutely top notch, being both melodic and technical. The bass is still there somewhere (though it's difficult to tell), and as with before the drumwork is fast and powerful, managing a variety of blasts and typical double bass sections. The most self evident change is the vocals, as George Fisher left prior to this album to join Cannibal Corpse. Luckily the vocals are up to standard and solid, though are somewhat less distinct in range and sound compared to George's, though some people may prefer the vocals here for that very reason. Unfortunately the guitar sound itself is somewhat sterile, which holds the album back slightly compared to some of the bands other work, such as Spiritual Apocalypse which had a more abrasive sound that suited the music a bit better.
There's a surprising amount of variety in sound on this album considering the more straightforward approach of Millennium, as tracks such as The Angels Venom
manage more melodious sounds while others such as Embraced By Apathy
provide a more aggressive approach. Indeed, while some tracks such as the opening Destroying Divinity
less distinct, others, such as the following track, Shapeless Dominion
do a good job of making themselves memorable in both their approach and riffs. As one would expect there are definite highlights on the album. The aforementioned The Angels Venom
provides a series of more melodious riffs, comparable to Remnants Of Divination off of Monstrosity's most recent album. Dust To Dust
explodes into action as possibly the fastest track on the album, opening with violently powerful riffs before descending into heads down action, while featuring the most aggressive drum work on the album from the get go. Suffering To The Conquered
is the most melodic track on the album, but makes it work by keeping the approach solid throughout and by using a variety of tempos near the end. Embraced In Apathy
also provides some wickedly fast tremolo picking comparable to that used in Dust To Dust and is one of the most consistent tracks on the album. The title track provides a solid mixture of sounds, from a series of faster segments to an almost doomy section towards the end of its duration. Lastly the album ends with a great cover of Slayer's Angel Of Death
, tackling it at vicious speed, and without it sounding too out of place.
Still, there are some issues. Quite a few tracks are rather forgettable, such as All Souls Consumed
and Perpetual War
and the large number of tracks make the album a bit of a chore near the end. Still, individual tracks off of it are great listens and overall the consistency of the album is strong as no tracks on it are outright weak. Overall the album is a great listen for a fan of death metal in general and certainly has the variety to keep itself interesting and entertaining.
Dust To Dust
The Angels Venom
Suffering The Conquered
Embraced By Apathy