Pathology | Awaken to the Suffering

by Trevor Portz
Staff Writer —

One would think that San Diego, with its low crime rate and mild climate, would be more likely to create mellow stoner rock than violent death metal. While that may be the case, it still managed to spout Pathology, a band carrying the torch of old-school death metal. While their newest album Awaken to the Suffering is far from groundbreaking, it’s still a blood-soaked romp sure to please fans of low-end and brutality.

More or less avoiding the uber-technical slant many of the newer death metal groups have brought to the scene (Origin being a prime example), Awaken… relies instead on those things that broke death metal out as its own genre in the late ‘80s: chugging riffs, down-tuned guitars, and, perhaps most importantly, guttural growls.

The growls here are significant, in that they are so ridiculously low and incoherent that they often sound more like bullfrog calls that human—or demonic, depending on your take—mutterings. In fact, many of the more drawn out “screams” appear to be almost alien. It’s unclear if this is a bizarre ability of vocalist Jonathan Huber, or the result of some studio fiddling. Either way, they are interesting. The biggest problem is that they are very one dimensional, only occasionally seeming to follow any rhythm, and end up sounding more like an evil drone than part of the music. A bit of dynamic variety would be a welcome addition to the band’s sound.

Overall, Awaken to the Suffering is a solid enough retro death metal release. It doesn’t carry the crushing brilliance of Suffocation or Dying Fetus, but it certainly gets the job done.

Genre: Death Metal

Dave Astor (d)
Tim Tiszczenko – guitar
Jonathan Huber – vocals
Oscar Ramirez – bass guitar
Kevin Schwartz – guitar[2]

Track Listing:
1. Dissected by Righteousness
2. Ingestion of Creation
3. Hostility Towards Conformity
4. Media Consumption
5. Society’s Desolation
6. Prolonging the Suffering
7. A Perverse Existence
8. Humanity’s Cesspool
9. Festering in Filth
10. Opposing Globalization
11. Emesis
12. Revocation of Earth

Label: Victory Records


Hardrock Haven rating: 6.8/10

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