Found this off of Revolver's top metal albums of the year list and from first listen it is a helluva lot better than some of the other stuff they had on there. This is a very visceral death metal, that works pretty well when it doesn't default to the really stiff and fast snare sound. When they take their time and grind it out slow and dark, the band finds their strength . They might be a doom band who can not resist the urge to play fast and thus they are playing death metal. The songs tend to come back to the slower gloom on the second song this is done in a way that works it into their brand of death well, thanks to the insanity of this drummer. He doesn't have to default into the annoying beat I don't like because it sounds like he thinking of drumming as a song writer rather than beating the hell out of them for the sake of beating the hell out of them. "Tongues of the NightShade" doesn't really do much to break from the typical death metal fare. They get into a better groove on "Rites to the Abduction of Essence". The chug works well with the drumming and I don't feel like I'm getting hit in the head with the same hammer over and over again.
"Piety Carved From Flesh" reverts back to your typical death metal bred from the blood splatter of old Cannibal Corpse, Incantation and Morbid Angel. It's when their music doesn't touch on one of those three pillars of the genre that it excels the most. It is well played and their drummer has the skills that come with playing death metal, a genre where the band truly is only as good as their drummer.They add some ambiance here and there, but brutality is the main game being played here. It wasn't until midway through " Dissolution of Mortal Perception" that I realized it was a different song. I had begun to zone out on the album at that point, because well lets face it a lot of death metal all sounds the same, which is what separates the greats from their flock.
They close out the album with "Collapse" that grinds to life with a monolithic chug. It was make it or break it for the band on this one and they needed a strong opener to this one in order to hook me back into the album. Do they blast off into the great wild yonder after the crushing riff? Yes. It does get some what mired down in the density that death metal lends itself too, but in the last minute they redeem themselves with a powerful riff and some ambiance dripping into the cracks of the song.It is still true that cool riffs alone do not make a good song, and this rule trips up many a death metal band, but these guys pay attention to the details and it pays off in their favor. I'll give this a 6.5, but you can round it up if you just like mean death metal and don't ask much more from it than that. Would like to hear their more atmospheric side delved into more to add some color to the monochrome aggression.