Review Summary: Generic, with a technical flair.
“Age of Onset” sees Pathology doing what they do best – put out a 30-minute slab of crushing brutal death metal with a technical flair. This time around though, the band have altogether dropped their grind influences, allowing each song to be long enough to explore various ideas, but not long enough to become boring. “Age of Onset” also sees the introduction of ex – Disgorge frontman Matti Way, who fills Levi Fuselier’s shoes excellently.
Musically, Pathology have never been on top form. Since dropping their signature grind-influenced death metal sound, their song writing skills have improved massively, as half-time sections and lead parts are common everywhere and the album no longer flows together, a problem which flawed the group’s previous offerings. Title track Age of Onset
contrasts semi-melodic, evil sounding riffs with absolutely crushing slams and grooves. Drummer Dave Astor has never sounded better – his drums sound perfect in the mix and his technicality is as good as ever. The various half-time sections and tempo changes act as the counterpart to the extreme tempos that Pathology often utilizes.
Unfortunately, band newcomer Matti Way proves to be the album’s weakest link. His vocal style is always inhales, and rarely differs in tone, resulting in all the lyrics on the album being unintelligible, even whilst reading the lyric sheet, which is a shame because the lyrics here trump anything off the first two records. Lyrically, the offerings here share a common theme of the apocalypse, as is reflected in the artwork as well, as opposed to the unoriginal gore lyrics on “Surgically Hacked” and “Incisions of Perverse Debauchery”.
Ultimately though, whilst the album is very consistent throughout, the album feels generic, and as such doesn’t stand out from every other death metal release. That being said, “Age of Onset” heralds a new sound for Pathology, one that they continue to expand on and develop on every release.