Review Summary: Lords of Replication
Say what you want about Pathology (or the brutal death metal scene in general), these guys know their trade. One of their biggest strengths is their sense of self-awareness as a band, not even attempting to think outside the box and just sticking to what they know they do best – no frills brutal death metal. Yes, their music does become pretty stagnant when played over any extended period of time, given the derivative nature of the material. However, Pathology’s musical brevity is their biggest strength, trickling just enough variation in between their 2-3 minute arrangements to maintain the listeners attention, regardless of the lack of innovation. With their latest album Lords of Rephaim
, it comes as absolutely no surprise they’ve done nothing new, and the album is all-the-more better off because of it.
Those who are fans of Pathology’s previous albums can rest assured there are no twists or shocks that will send their brutal minds into disarray. None of these songs extend far beyond 3 minutes in length, which is all these guys need to cram a sufficient number of catchy riffs to sate someone’s desire for a bit of mindless, metallic fun. There are grooves and slams in abundance, with vocals so guttural they could only have been muttered by a man who drinks cement smoothies. In comparison to their previous two albums, the vocals are a stark improvement. This is thanks to long time vocalist Matti Way returning to the mic, ditching Jonothan Huber’s annoying pseudo-pig squeal for a much more, ahem… “brutal” vocal delivery. Instrumentally, the album is a standard Pathology affair. There’s probably no point in telling you the album is a blast-fest in every sense of the term, with some fairly heavy bass drum abuse to boot. Apart from a minor presence of melody on the track “Autumn Cryptique” (which happens to be one of the strongest and most instantly recognisable songs on here), the album also features a smattering of infectious, mid-tempo slam riffs that are sure to have you grooving throughout the entirety of the album. These are spaced out well enough by a number of technical flashes, lingering power chords and brief stints of tremolo picking, because variety is obviously
the spice of Pathology’s life. But that’s exactly why Pathology’s formula works so well. Sarcasm aside, you have to give these guys credit for understanding their strengths and not branching out into ostentatious bullshi
t that would only sound out of place on one of their records.
Nobody could honestly vouch for this being a lyrical or song-writing masterpiece, but it’s hard to accuse Pathology of any wrongdoing either. The album serves its purpose with consummate ease, providing a healthy dose of mindless fun for your average brutal death fan. Genre conservatives will obviously attack it virulently and say Pathology need to diversify, but the truth is these guys have a formula that works and provides practically limitless material. Lords of Rephaim
is Pathology doing what they do best – a heavy, infectious and easily digestible slab of brutal death metal, prepared and ready for consumption with no surprises contained within.