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A quirky little EP - 71%

Noktorn, December 13th, 2010

The comparisons to Malignancy are nearly inescapable for Embryonic Devourment- at least on their full-length, 'Fear Of Reality Exceeds Fantasy'. On this much less well-known EP, though, you get something a little quirkier (were Malignancy not quirky enough for you). Juxtaposing very technical death/grind with hints of black metal melody (and they are legitimately black metal), you get something very unique and modern but not devoid of songwriting sensibility. This is a much more stable, musical record than the band would later come to record, and is a pretty good entry point to the band's discography overall, if a bit incongruous when compared to what would come later.

While the Malignancy comparisons do fly fast and thick when the music really heats up, the music on 'Beheaded By Volition' is by and large a lot more traditionally metallic than the band's later work. Little bits of traditional influence and hints of black metal peek through amidst the crazy time changes and fill-laden musical delivery, with dual high/low vocals streaming and burping alongside a rather avant garde variety of death metal; it reminds me a bit of the obscure Russian band Rest In Pain with its watery, almost confused sound. Blasting is only an element at work here, and it seems that the band is more focused overall on midpaced, snappy, almost militaristically rhythmed passages. The band's sense of rhythm is acutely demented, and the blast sections are really a reprieve of sorts- this is a demanding record that takes it out of you even as short as it is.

Though I don't feel this is quite as strong as 'Fear Of Reality Exceeds Fantasy' (owing to a lack of very established style), it's still an interesting record for the tech deathers out there which flips the 'masturbatory shredding' meme right on its head. This is a genuinely progressive death metal record which would probably be interesting to fans of bands like Gorguts and, of course, Malignancy or Corpulate. Though the full-length would come to cement the band's style, this oddity of an EP is worth investigating if you like your death metal with a side of weirdness and manic creativity.

Over-Produced But Still Good - 75%

optimuszgrime, March 5th, 2008

Some really heady stuff here, all in less than 20 minutes! This is top-notch death/grind with all sorts of bulldozer bass drum and guitar work, as well as some intense blast beats. The music reminds one of Dripping and Dying Fetus, or a mix thereof. The recording, however, falls short in my opinion. The entire thing sounds hollow, and not in a good way either. The tones of the guitars are so emphasized, and the bass line is so nice, but the drums are powerless because they are triggered. It sounds like a machine drummer, and not because of the insane technicality either. It just sounds over produced and crappy, which is the only down side of this mini-album. Over all it is pretty sweet, the lyrics are pretty standard, and they are growled with some intense low vocals. They are not the backwards inhaled gurgly type stuff either, this is straight yelled but it goes so low, one sometimes wonders at the man’s technique. The guitar riffing is pretty insane, nice pinch harmonics and cool shredding with some nice palm muting riffs is what these guys hold for the most part. And the drum track itself is really decent too, but the production on it kills it for me. I would like to give this a better rating, but the recording is just a real pain in my ass, so I will not. I have not heard the full length yet, but I am hoping it is not like this in recording, and more like this in terms of riffage. This band you should check out if you like overly produced stuff like Mucus Membrane or Disgorge (US), I personally cannot fully enjoy it because of the mechanical sound. if that is not something you mind, then this is for you. If you do, it still worth a good listen, for the awesome Malignancy type riffs and cool vocal patterns.