Mental Cruelty

Signs of the Swarm – Absolvere Review

Signs of the Swarm – Absolvere Review

“If any band has cursed history, it’s Signs of the Swarm. Seemingly the hub of the most garbage human beings in the history of deathcore, more allegations plague these Pittsburgh natives than breakdowns. Sexual assault allegations beleaguer former vocalist CJ McCreery and former bassist Jacob Toy, while physical abuse accusations mar former guitarist Cory Smarsh. Smartly, the group has distanced itself from these individuals, showing integrity in spite of its streak of scumbags. Continuing as a trio, Absolvere is no step down in brutality, energy, or most importantly, quality.” Away from the maddening swarms.

Vulvodynia – Praenuntius Infiniti Review

Vulvodynia – Praenuntius Infiniti Review

“When Vulvodynia put out Psychosadistic Design all the way back in 2016, it served as an intro to slam for a great number of people. It was up there with Ingested’s Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering for entry-level stuff that would eventually lead the listener to bands like Ecchymosis, Gorevent, and Kraanium. It had a modern sheen, plenty of obvious hooks, and an obnoxious sense of humor, but it also had enough in common with slam to draw the listener down the rabbit hole.” Death, where is thy slam?

Distant – Aeons of Oblivion Review

Distant – Aeons of Oblivion Review

“Netherlands outfit Distant emerged on the scene with 2019’s Tyrannotophia debut, showcasing their self-proclaimed downtempo deathcore brand, with atmospheric stylings. While potential was evident, overall the album fell short of the mark, marred by monotonous writing and lack of interesting and dynamic arrangements. I missed their stopgap EP from 2020, but with two years having slipped by I plunge in with trepidation and hope to see if Distant have revamped their brand enough to sustain a deeper level of engagement.” Maintaining minimum safe distance.

Mental Cruelty – A Hill to Die Upon Review

Mental Cruelty – A Hill to Die Upon Review

“Everyone loves a good comeback story. For German brutal deathcore quintet Mental Cruelty, their comeback story begins in 2018, wherein they rolled up on your beach brandishing a weapon of divine destruction named Pergatorium. Then, Inferis dropped less than a year later. To my dismay, that record abandoned much of what made Pergatorium fun and compelling, instead resorting to cheap genre tricks, lifeless breakdowns and unsatisfying symphonics. Looking back, I probably overrated Inferis by a half-point, such was my disappointment with the album after such a strong debut. Enter third installment A Hill to Die Upon.” Obsessed by (Mental) Cruelty.

Mental Cruelty – Inferis Review

Mental Cruelty – Inferis Review

“Well, I guess the Pope is a zombie now. Admit it, you all saw that coming. A religious leader, let alone one that wields as much influence as the head of the Catholic Church? Come on. Whatever, that’s a tangent for another time. For now, let’s talk about the second full-length album by Mental Cruelty, named Inferis.” Popecore.

Eye of the Destroyer – Baptized in Pain Review

Eye of the Destroyer – Baptized in Pain Review

“Some people spend their weekend running errands, and I’m no different. This weekend, as I write this review, I’ll be running a fool’s errand and disagreeing with the genre tag of a “deathcore” album. Genre fans and detractors will have the same reaction: “who cares, it’s all about the chugs anyway.” You chug water for different reasons than you chug beer (unless it’s Coors Light, which is both). The Rack chugs and Eternal Nightmare chugs. Disma chugs and Carnifex chugs. All of this is to say, Eye of the Destroyer’s second LP is beatdown, not deathcore.” Advanced pigeonholing.