Published May 09, 2019Modern tech death tends to lean closer to the melodic or progressive elements of death metal than the bludgeoning brutality of classic acts like Dying Fetus or Suffocation. Boston's Abnormality are on the side of tech death pioneers though, straddling the line between Cannibal Corpse-esque caveman riffs and chaotic technicality on their third full-length, Sociopathic Constructs.
The band serve a never-ending dose of brutality across the record, hardly allowing any space to catch your breath from start to finish. They do allow momentary breaks from the complex songwriting though, delivering bludgeoning hardcore breakdowns on tracks like "Transmogrification of the Echoborgs" or "Dying Breed."
Above all else though, this record is about breakneck speed. Songs like "Monarch Alpha" and "Kakistocracy" are chockfull of grinding blasts of dizzying technicality and sweeping solos. They throw in a few doses of groove throughout the record too, keeping everything delicately balanced to ensure each element of their sound has room to shine.
Outside of instrumentation, the band are miles ahead of their peers in the vocal department. Vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy simply can't be praised enough for her ability to nail low guttural vocals that surpass the depths most can reach. She isn't a one-trick-pony either, finding moments to squeeze in an unexpected demonic shriek on tracks like "A Seething Perversion."
Tech death records can often feel exhausting towards their end, but Sociopathic Constructs manages to hold your attention the entire time. Their willingness to step back from the complexity gives some room for songs to stand out from each other while staying grounded in technicality. The album is sure to please guitar aficionados while having plenty to offer for the brutal death metal crowd. (Metal Blade)