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The Time Of Great Purification

Victory (2012)
Rating: 7.5/10

Formed by drummer Dave Astor (ex-Cattle Decapitation / ex-The Locust), Pathology has been lurking behind the corners since 2006. The Time Of Great Purification is the San Diego, California-based band’s sixth album and their third release for the one time hardcore-dominated Victory Records.

This is my first exposure to the band and I’m not ashamed to admit that the album’s superb cover art drew me in. Stumbling on it online piqued my interest in the same way that flipping through long boxes in record store basements used to.

Pathology, for the uninitiated like me, is a death metal band with a penchant for grindcore. Not as completely grindcore as Birdflesh or Vomitorial Corpulence, but laced with just enough to make you wonder what you should call it. Cattle Decapitation and early Cryptopsy certainly come to mind when listening to this album, but Pathology aren’t afraid to let themselves groove if they feel like it, so there’s a somewhat slower pace and a more dynamic approach overall (but particularly in the soloing).

While the band hit the ground running here, it’s ‘Torment In Salvation’ that first really grips you. It races at a breakneck speed until it hits the wall and then switches gears to a stumbling slab of aggression before launching in to a fairly traditional sounding metal solo.

‘A Bleak Future’ comes pretty close to having a bounce to it before just steamrolling you with guttural, indecipherable vocals from new vocalist Jonathan Huber (ex-I Declare War) and a non-stop drum pummeling. ‘Oppression By Faith’ continues the destruction in much the same way, lacking only the guitar solo from the previous song. Realistically, they are so similar it could have just been one long song.

‘The Everlasting Plague’ has a nice guitar groove that couples rather oddly with blast beat drumming. I didn’t like it at first, because it almost sounds like two different songs played over the top of each other, but on repeated listens I found myself surprised to be gravitating towards it.

Overall, if you enjoy death metal or grindcore and haven’t discovered Pathology yet, then I’d highly suggest checking out The Time Of Great Purification. If you are a diehard though, you’ve likely enjoyed these guys for a long time already. I’m not exactly sure how Jonathan Huber stacks up to their former vocalist (Matti Way) but he does a great job here bringing the pain on every song. The guy’s growl is so low it’ll shake your speakers.

Mark Fisher

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