Review Summary: Genetic mutation: COMPLETE
Although not very frequent, stylistic mutation sometimes happens in extreme music. Wake are one of the most recent examples, but unlike the Canadians, who have evolved from a grind signature to a more blackened hybrid style, Colorado's power-trio Of Feather and Bone have shifted from their hardcore/grind roots to old school death metal. The reason for this change of direction differs in each case, yet the inherent willingness to explore new territories thus avoiding any creative stagnation is surely a plausible reason. Although their early hardcore-ish releases should not be ignored, they didn't thrill me enough, unlike the later Bestial Hymns of Perversion
, which marked the band's transition into death metal territories. What pleased me most about the album was its sinister cavernous atmosphere and its ferocity, reminiscent of the band's grindcore roots. Its muddy production was also a factor that accentuated the band's migration to another stylistic spectrum, something that would change slightly in Sulfuric Disintegration
that presents a more visceral sound, enhancing a somewhat cleaner and more straightforward approach.
This less atmospheric focus was the first thing that struck me when I peeked at the first singles. Despite not being a break with the recent past, it seems clear to me that the band enters the new decade wanting to avoid some kind of Bestial Hymns of Perversion 2.0. While its predecessor favored a sinister ambiance, Sulfuric Disintegration
has a more orthodox feel, closer to bands like Funebrarum. 'Regurgitated Communion', 'Noctemnania', or 'Consecrated and Consumed' mirror that proximity. I would even say that Daryl Kahan's vocal dynamics are an inspiration that can be felt throughout the album. There's a strong connection between tracks, particularly the choruses, that bear some similarity to each other as if they were all conceived in the same time frame. This close relationship lends the album a solid consistency but also deprives it of greater diversity. The vicious 'Sulfuric Sodomy (Disintegration of Christ)' is a good example of the familiarity between tracks, as it presents some bridges with the previously mentioned songs, namely in the vocal dynamics. This track, together with 'Baptized in Boiling Phlegm', also has the particularity of adding some grind ingredients into the band's current death metal formula. The blending of these two aesthetics is among the strengths of Sulfuric Disintegration
, being representative of Of Feather and Bone's present DNA.
One of the novelties of Sulfuric Disintegration
are the brief chaotic solos on some tracks, which enhance the album's more conventional look and feel, taking it further away from the band's early hardcore roots. As a matter of fact, if we compare the first two EPs and the full-length debut with Sulfuric Disintegration
it seems like we're dealing with two entirely different bands. This gap doesn't bother me, on the contrary, I find their present style significantly more interesting, however, if the lads had kept the sinister muddy layer of the previous release they would have managed to produce more contrasts, thus avoiding the monochrome present in Sulfuric Disintegration
. Because, despite its short duration, the album sometimes seems to go in circles, orbiting too close to the same idea, without being able to progress to a wider spectrum. Arthur Rizk's production, somewhat flat and messy, could also have created a greater distance between instruments, thus ensuring the suitable background in which the band could express itself in all its amplitude.
isn't exactly a step forward, but rather a clarifying moment that strengthens the genetic mutation that occurred in the previous album. Despite believing that the band can definitely do better, both in terms of intensity and atmosphere, I cannot ignore the intrinsic qualities of Sulfuric Disintegration
, which as well as being a solid addition to the band's discography, solidifies Of Feather and Bone as one of the best acts in the contemporary American death metal scene.