Abnormality - Mechanisms of Omniscience CoverWhen it came time to hand out songwriting chops, Satan smiled on Abnormality. The Massachusetts quintet’s debut, Contaminating the Hive Mind, was a throat-crushing extravaganza of pure death metal that capitalized on the group’s seven years together previous to its release. Contaminating is an exemplar death metal record, fusing tight and energetic performance with succinct writing and an ear for brutality that few bands can match, combining the blast-happy drumming of Cryptopsy with hyperspeed Origin riffing. It’s the undead embodiment of kickassery, and expectations are high for Mechanisms of Omniscience, especially after a four-year wait.

The band waste no time with introductions; “Swarm” opens with a lightspeed riff and explosive drumming before giving way to what would be a slam if it were played at half speed. It’s neck snapping from the very first second and a perfect opener for an album that’s excellent back to front. “Synthetic Pathogenesis” sports some slower grooves that are sure to feature in a pit-based hospitalization at some point in the future; it’s a diverse song with a few real curveballs, but still feels cohesive and, at about three and a half minutes, is succinct as well. Later gems like “Irreversible” are just as catchy and memorable, with “Irreversible” sporting a melodic lead that cascades perfectly across its pre-chorus into the chorus.

While Mechanisms of Omniscience slays almost continuously, there are a few hiccups during the carnage. “Vigilant Ignorance” spans six minutes and spends a lot of that time repeating its title over a lackluster slam riff that doesn’t quite go anywhere. The song’s solo is one of the album’s longer and more interesting outings, but most of it’s buried underneath the rhythm guitar, which again, isn’t playing anything particularly exciting. Though the song is a bit of a bore, it’s a small portion of the album as a whole and there are plenty of good songs to make up for it.

Abnormality Band 2016

Abnormality‘s performances are as tight as ever, and the band’s appeal stems as much from the members’ cohesion as it does from their songcraft. Jay Blaisdell’s drumming is explosive, and his snare cuts right through the sharp distortion of the guitars, becoming integral in some of these riffs. The band move as a unit, and it makes songs like “Cymatic Hallucinations” just that much more kinetic, especially when Mallika Sundaramurthy’s oppressive roar enters to truly consolidate the sound. But for all of their death metal trappings, Abnormality still know how to make music fun, and there are moments spread across this record – especially in its two instrumental tracks – that call to mind the breakneck absurdity of Origin and the forward-thinking riffs of Revocation.

Mechanisms of Omniscience might not be as exciting as the band’s debut, but it’s proof that the group won’t be leaving fans disappointed anytime soon. These songs are tight, well-written and engaging, and the band has a presence that few can match. Abmormality‘s no-nonsense approach to death metal is commendable, especially given the prodigious talents of its members, and the band’s understanding of riffcraft and composition has already gotten them further than sweep-picking and bass breaks ever would. Whatever your favorite flavor of death metal, 2016 is turning out to be a windfall year, and Mechanisms of Omniscience‘s only flaw is coming out during a storm of high-profile death metal releases. If you’re already familiar with the band, be assured that Mechanisms is exactly what you want, and if you’ve never heard them before, be sure to give this album a listen.

Score: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: vbr mp3
Label: Metal Blade Records
Websites: abnormality.bandcamp.com/facebook.com/abnormality
Releases Worldwide: April 29th, 2016

Share →
  • Diego Molero

    I first heard this band on Rock Band 2, “Visions” is so fucking hard, I never can finish it.

  • The slammier side of death metal tends not to be my thing, but hot damn this is catchy.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I think Revocation should just write an albums called “We Think Forwardly” and be done with it. Every time I see them mentioned in text format, some variation of the term “forward thinking” makes an appearance.

    • Bart the Repairman

      I think Dave Davidson & Nick Schendzielos should develop the idea of “Benjamin Butthole Surfers” and make an entire album, plus a couple more videos. Seriously, if someone haven’t seen it, check this out. One of the best things in the internet.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Now I know what Gollum’s been doing since he finished filming the Lord Of The Rings movies.

      • SegaGenitals

        Benjamin Butthole Surf Ninjas

  • Tom Hardy

    Apart from that 1 track you single out, the review doesn’t say anything bad about the album and yet a 3?

    Honestly, this gets a solid 2.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      Well played

      • Tom Hardy

        Aye aye, Alpha … is that what you’d like me to call you?

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          Some call me The Stig, but I’ll take anything

          • Tom Hardy

            Are you a fellow British by any chance? Fancy meeting at Silverstone this year at the F1 grand prix?

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            I am, but live in Australia. Last Silverstone race, I was meant to rock up but my flights were delayed by two days and I missed out on my sole reason for visiting home. I’d love to be able to come back for a Silverstone GP but it is a hefty investment! Though tings aren’t too shabby here; the Melbourne track is a delight to spectate. I’ll be sure to let you know next time I decide to fly in for the races.

  • Hammersmith

    2016 is flllluuuuuuuuusssshhhhh with quality releases so far.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Ah Mallika… how can such a huge voice live inside that petite frame?

  • manimal


    And that, kids, is why you should always carry a usb stick with TailsOS around.

  • Ahmad Syarif Hidayat

    Why 3.5. Should 4.5 (9).