Killing Addiction – Mind of a New God Review

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t make your mind up too soon. Things aren’t necessarily always what they seem to be. If you’re about my age and used to watch Thomas the Tank Engine, the above has triggered a flashback and you’ve now got the melody of that song stuck in your head wherein it shall remain for at least twenty-four hours. It’s good advice though, because Killing Addiction’s choice of cover for their second LP Mind of a New God looks like the concept art for a rejected Mortal Kombat boss that you can’t play as in multiplayer. Despite the cover, it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Although just releasing their second full-length record, Killing Addiction has been around since the late 80s, broke up in the late 90s, and reformed in 2006. In 2016 they released an EP called Shores of Oblivion which is essential listening. Despite hailing from the death metal hotbed of Florida, Mind of a New God reminds me more of a certain group of Pennsylvania punishers: Incantation. The Flori-death comes primarily from Morbid Angel, but Killing Addiction streamlines the sound of both bands – most songs keep under four minutes, the experimental inclinations of Trey Azagthoth aren’t present, and the extreme tempo variations of John McEntee riffs are largely absent. There’s also an Immolation flavor here and there, but this is restricted to riff-craft instead of songcraft – the songs here are structured like Incantation’s simpler material, possessing nothing approaching the complexity of Here in After.

In all, this combination creates accessible death metal by excising the more challenging aspects of its influences. Patrick Bailey’s vocals have also gotten a bit deeper since Shores, and now he fittingly sounds more like any Incantation vocalist not named Craig Pillard than before. The leads are compelling throughout, being thoughtful and confidently played – not atonal whammy abuse, but not senseless masturbatory shredding either. “Prophecy Armageddon” is built around a few quality riffs, and Killing Addiction squeezes all the juice out of them and promptly ends the song. Knowing when to stop is a theme which, fortunately, tends to pervade Mind of a New God. With that in mind, “The Chaos Older than Time” is the longest song here by a sizeable margin, it’s also one of the best. Killing Addiction slows it down for the introduction of this penultimate track, speeding up to a great mix of their own sound and that of their influences, and concluding on a whammy-driven solo that’s expertly controlled chaos. Closing number “Altered at Birth” sounds pleasingly old-school, and features prominently big, driving, Bolt Thrower influenced riffs that remind me happily of Shores. It’s a strong closing.

While I’d sooner throw this on than Blasphemy or Decimate Christendom, Mind of a New God exists firmly in death metal’s populous B-tier. As usual, there aren’t outright bad songs present but “Dark Realm Atrocity” is largely built upon stock Incantationanigans (thanks Cherd) and doesn’t make much of an impact beyond being agreeable and competently written and executed. “Condemned to Nothingness” could’ve used a few less repetitions of a less than inspiring riff, as while it’s sensible in context, putting that much weight on one of the record’s weaker riffs doesn’t do wonders for an otherwise good song. While fun on its own merits, Killing Addiction going full Spiritual Healing in one part of “As Utopia Burns” pushes aside a compelling instance of guitar interplay I wanted to hear more of. It’s clear that my quibbles are minor.

The production here is a bit uninspiring. It sounds passable overall but is too polished to be suitably raw but not polished enough to rival the impact of Swanö’s work with Incantation. The drums sounded better and more organic on Shores. Fortunately, this does little appreciable harm to the music on Mind of a New God – this is a good death metal record and an easy recommendation. There’s nothing saliently new here, but Killing Addiction has a good take on the familiar pieces we know and love. This type of music is red meat to death metal fans, as it plays into their expectations and does so competently but not exceptionally. At thirty-five minutes long, this is an easy listen and welcomes replays. While they’re playing different styles of death metal, I’d put this in the same vein as Cadaveric Incubator: reliably good, reliably enjoyable, not forgettable but also not beyond average in its memorability. Or, in a word, good.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Xtreem Music
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: June 1st, 2021

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