''An Auditory Annihilation...''
The terms of 'goregrind' and 'melodic death metal' would not normally go hand in hand for my musical taste, since I pretty much demise 90% of melodic death metal. But to my surprise this combination of Swedish melodic death metal and Carcass-inspired goregrind works really well and compliments each other at certain points of the album. Now, I must say that I heard their demos (Severe Malignant Pustule and Mucu-Purulent Miscarriage) before this, and I was very impressed with the jobs on those two. Pure, raw goregrind at its finest but those two lacked character. So, I was really anticipating something special when I popped my copy of their debut album in my stereo.
Pathological Performances is not only an escalation compared to their early demos but comes out on top as a mammoth-like masterpiece of disgusting grind. The demos were very brutal and devastating because of the raw production, but I really like this more filtered and edgy sound. Musically, they have also advanced quite a bit, the songs don't feel like rushed or fluky.
This album is built up as a creepy intro, ten well composed and executed songs, and a neat instrumental outro. There are memorable, catchy riffs, furious and various blastbeats and skankbeats, melodious solos and even an eerie-sounding flute intro on 'Acute Pyencephalus And Cerebral Decomposure' and 'Accumulation of Exudate'. These things are certainly positive improvements and ideas further executed from the demos (mostly Severe Malignant Pustule), the songs are more diverse, for example frenzied blastbeat and fast-picking tremolo riffs will passage into mid-paced riffs with simple doublepedal beats with a lot of cymbal-smacking. The intermediate pieces (sometimes with solos) between verses is a great way to enhance the song length, complexity and depth, for example in the song 'Submassive Necrosis Disgorgement', the entire section from 1.25 to 2.49 and begins again briefly at 3.03 as a break. This beautifully placed mid-piece is one of the moments where this album truly shines through and stands out, well this and their melodic and out of place solos, this gives the album character and ups the song writing to make you enjoy their unique sound a little more.
The vocals are as good as ever, with clear production so you can understand the grotesque gore lyrics they usually spew out. There are also some incredible guest performances in the vocal department by mighty Dan Swanö and Johan Axelsson. The production on this album is amazing. It sounds like the producer went carefully through recording track and edited and adjusted to make the most raw and simple production and make every instrument fully able to be heard, even the bass sticks out every now and then (for example the intro on 'Gynopathological Excav-Eater'). The whole sound picture just blends into one another, the collaboration between the guttural noises and the medicinal vocabulary telling stories of pathology and parasitic sicknesses.
All in all, this is one of my favourite records of all time. Every time I put this on, I get surprised again and again. The feel, the music and overall sound just makes this album a must-have for any deathgrind fan out there. If you can find it somewhere for a decent price, I got mine for around 30 euro which is considered pretty cheap since I have heard people buying this album for the outrageous price of 100 euro.
Dexterous Embryectomy, Gynopathological Excav-Eater, Ocular Obliteration, The Squirming Worms, Acute Pyencephalus and Cerebral Decomposure