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Quick and punchy like a boxer midget - 79%

Noktorn, June 28th, 2010

A brutal death band with two albums released in the same year, one on Sevared and one on Comatose? Could this be the poorly played tech slam we've been dreaming of? Actually, no, though it is quite neat in other ways: Being Killed appears to be a side project of Pathology, and it's unsurprising that this project reflects many of the same musical qualities as its parent. Being Killed is in essence a more oldschool, less sheerly grinding and technical spin on Pathology. It would not be unwise to consider Being Killed a sort of modern brutal death spin on the Razorback sound, albeit with a sense of melody much more genuinely menacing and brutal than anything from the Lord Gore school. Infusing such brutal music with such a definite memorability works wonders to extend its replay value, making 'Kill Yourself' a release that both batters the listener upon first play and endures long after.

The bulk of Being Killed's music is made up of contrasting blast sections and slower, more dramatic grooves in the minimal style of Mortician or Autopsy. The riffing, of course, is far more technical than either of those bands, borrowing heavily from newer Cannibal Corpse in its fiendish tremolo or Pathology's own snapping, buzzing spin on the Malignancy sound for the more technical passages. A drum machine is employed but so well mixed and programmed that it is essentially indistinguishable from the real thing; the random sampling and velocity mapping is impeccable, and if one didn't know, the drummer would be praised for his impeccable timing and solid beat construction. The solid if seemingly self-done production is heavy and full, with just a hint of amateur cloudiness that actually works quite well with the rather rigid and mechanical nature of the playing.

If you took the better riffs from the Razorback catalog and made them more definitely lurking and ominous, the result would be the guitarwork on 'Kill Yourself'. Fast, precise, and catchy, the riffs are definitely derived from older death metal as much as newer, more technical work, with the melodies of the former contrasting with the playing of the latter. Despite the programmed drums and modern aesthetic, the vibe of this album is distinctly oldschool without descending into self-parody. The album is short and punchy at a half hour, and I think that's perfect for this style: Being Killed gets in and out of your ear quickly, wasting no time with excessive repetition or weak ideas. Every track on the album is strong, and there's none of the indecisiveness or overly basic song construction that tends to plague project-style bands. While the music is not remarkable, it shows an enthusiasm and confidence far beyond that of its siblings in the brutal death scene.

Being Killed hardly reinvents the wheel with this album, but it is a pleasant surprise and a great theoretical spin on the Razorback 'happy' sound. I would throw this alongside a band like Splatterhouse which reclaims the retro style and uses it to further its own goals rather than engage in mindless worship of other artists- I can only hope that more bands of a similar vein follow suit. 'Kill Yourself' is a strong early entry in Being Killed's catalog, and I hope that more material of the same caliber follows.