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Recipes from the Music Therapist’s Cookbook - 93%

bayern, May 1st, 2017

Murder Therapy are a part of the new wave of Italian death metal which appeared around the mid-00’s, and gloriously continued the greatness from the works of their peers Sadist, Illogicist, Aydra, Gory Blister, and Coram Lethe. Acheode, Blaskhyrt, Ad Nauseam, Septical Gorge, Beyond the Gates, Henker, Unbirth, Antropofagus, Synapses, Lectern, Chronic Hate, Hatred, Agony Face, Any Face, some other face that I have surely forgotten… the list can be by all means made longer. The band under scrutiny here are unique in the way they mix dazzling guitar acrobatics ala Necrophagist with sprawling, nearly mathcore-like, sketches those smelling mid-period Meshuggah and a great forgotten band from the 90’s, Lethargy, the first vehicle for the Mastodon guys. The Italians are more dynamic than their US and Swedish counterparts, but their musical audacity is up there every bit of the way as evident from the “The Therapy” EP which handsomely introduced their intriguing, rich in detail style.

The album reviewed here is another testimony for the Italian scene’s premier position as a technical/progressive metal provider in the new millennium. The ultra-stylish riff “salad” starts from the get-go with “The Scourge” the guys shredding like demented in the best tradition of Necrophagist and Suffocation, 3-min of the finest technical death metal around, tight compact music without any unnecessary embellishments. “Extra-Ordinary Perfect Machine” brutalizes the environment initially, but the corey breaks appear to “disrupt” the blitzkrieg order although the achieved symbiosis is nothing short of outstanding reaching Theory in Practice-esque dramatism. “Staring at the Zodiac” is a more controlled number with a dissonant aura, but the riff density remains as the complex guitarisms return, the band shredding through the settled miasma with the utmost dexterity, breaking through the corey “clouds” without shedding a sweat. “Tales of the Bizarre” are “tales” of acrobatic technical death metal done right, virtuous overlapping rhythms that flow in quick succession intercepted by equally as intriguing mathcore breaks.

“Equilibrium” is 1.5-min of shuffling mathcore histrionics, but “Two Shots in Colebrook” takes care of business with more moderate vortex-like riffage sustained in several tempos, the hectic rhythm-section bordering on the hallucinogenic near the end. “Hidden in Lies” hints at the deathcore movement at the beginning, and seldom leaves those confines save for a dash of more intense riffs thrown as an afterthought in the second half. “Asymmetry” is another nod to the mathcore fraternity, a dissonant instrumental piece which grows into the final “Delirium”, the perplexing “skirmishes” resumed on full-throttle fighting for domination with the dissonant core-isms the latter winning the “battle” in the end.

The mixture works perfect, and may even be considered the finest one in the new millennium staying right next to the aforementioned Lethargy only album “It’s Hard to Write with a Little Hand” (1996) and Dim Mak’s debut “Enter the Dragon” (1999) as the three works that have managed to produce a fairly acceptable concoction of these two contrasting styles. Lethargy didn’t produce anything else while Dim Mak chose the death metal path to follow on subsequent releases thus leaving the death metal/core hybridization process kind of unfinished in the late-90’s. Our friends here pulled themselves together for the release of one more EP (“Molochian”) two years later which almost perfected the formula, and passed the torch to another superb practitioner, Beyond the Gates, whose sophomore “Zodiac” (2012) is a nice conglomerate of the two genres.

The Murder Therapists didn’t disappear from the scene, but changed their name to Nero di Marte, and continued amazing the underground with their complex visions. The delivery under the new moniker has shifted towards the extreme progressive metal pantheon with more sprawling dissonant landscapes drawn, death metal not such a prominent presence anymore. Shades of more recent Ulcerate and Gorguts can be detected, but the approach is generally more dynamic and accessible, and by all means on the same high level as the Murder Therapy output. The musical therapists should be happy all over since they will continue to have plenty of sources to delve into for their sessions, albeit not as murderous anymore.

Italian ambassadors of European death metal - 72%

Morhguel, September 29th, 2010

If you ask a metalhead to mention a metal band from Italy, I don't think that a death metal band would come up to his or her mind. Italy gave many bands to the European metal scene from almost every genres except this one. Although, I've heard about Maleficarum and Excidium, and of course, some other groups with death influences, but that's all, and none of them were playing the tech-death style. So this combat unit called Murder Therapy have armed themselves with this brutal weapon called “Symmetry Of Delirium” to set their flag on this yet unconquered area.

And yes, this analogy is correct, if I were a soldier, I would feel myself in safe with this lethal weapon on any enemy territory. The music is ruthless technical death metal at its best with many broken rhythms and with some core elements (but it's still good for the taste of the oldschool fans). This quintet play this genre nicely with a sound that is really close to perfection (although, there's an unnecessary explosion effect here which lasts for a half second and distorts the sound totally, but it's a tiny, short mistake.) However, the songwriting is the weakest part of their work. It's not bad but not really outstanding either. There are some really good songs such as 'Extra-Ordinary Perfect Machine' or 'Two Shots In Colebrook' with its hard rock influenced refrain, they are both well-composed and they have a unique feeling but I can't say that it's also true for the rest. I admit that they play this style brutally but it makes the music unmemorable, you won't find here neither guitar solos in Necrophagist's/Arsis's style nor catchy guitar riffs (except a few ones). But yes, it's heavy as hell. There's a hidden track on the album - a speech mixed onto the intro of 'Asymmetry' – which was unnecessary I think, but it fits into the atmosphere, so it's okay.

Rating this record was as hard as to digest the music on it. The quality of the production is the highest, many famous bands would dream of this heavy sound. The music is complex, it's definitely without mistakes, it's performed very well and it is way better than the average. But still, despite that there's no mistake on this album, it's not an outstanding record. Before this full-length, they released an EP which gained many positive reviews so they have the potential there's no doubt about it. But I think, they show it mostly in the second part of the album which is better and has more opportunities. All in all, it's a good debut and they have the chance to be called as the “Italian ambassadors of the European death metal”. Of course, it's recommended for the death metal fans, but be careful: it's heaviness will kick your brain out of your head!

( Originally written for: )

Murder Therapy - Symmetry of delirium - 75%

Phuling, January 17th, 2010

I’ve been receiving promos from Deity Down Records for a couple of years now, I think, and it’s had its ups and downs. Some stuff have been really killer while other records haven’t really been my cup of tea. But that’s left me with a somewhat ambiguous mind when it comes to new promos from them, I never know what to expect and I can’t be certain it’ll appeal to me. And to be honest, Murder Therapy’s debut album has some of the ugliest cover artwork I’ve seen in a long time, so I didn’t really have high hopes for this one. But I was very pleasantly surprised only a minute or two into "The scourge", ‘cause it was evident this baby packed a punch.

I’ve read some reviews of this album, and what’s become painfully obvious to me is that most webzines suck big time, and the people who write for them couldn’t tell their head from their arse. Hopefully I won’t be considered such as well after this. Murder Therapy have a somewhat European flair to their sound, albeit with an American insurgence. The drumming at times remind me of some Vader material, but mostly during some of the blast parts, as the remainder of the drumming here is much more progressive and technical. Everything has a certain experimental touch to it, and riffing-wise it goes for both technicality and heavy churning, on occasion actually getting me thinking of what’s otherwise called mathcore. "Symmetry of delirium" contains some of the spastic, schizo-tendencies of said genre, but sealed within the massive death metal recipe that remains their base. They can sound just like Deranged one minute while the next gets me thinking of Dying Fetus, only to go all-out experimental in riffing to get flashbacks of earlier The Dillinger Escape Plan material (minus most hardcore tendencies, though).

So there’s a wide variety of death metal subgenres and styles comprised into one album, and it makes for a sound of their own. I wouldn’t consider it to be outright unique, but I can’t say it sounds really like another particular band. It’s technical and progressive without getting out of hand. There are quite a few tempo changes and twists and turns to be discovered, and I love the fact that they manage to cram in everything into rather short songs, most of which are under three minutes. Funnily, though, is the fact that the gruffy vocals remind me of a mixture of Chris Barnes and Corpsegrinder, so I guess that gives it just a wee bit of Cannibal Corpse flair while pretty much not sounding anything like them. The warm production lets every instrument takes its rightful place in the mix, the drum sound is full and the riffing heavy. It’s a very massive album that I’m sure will please fans of various genres as long as they keep an open mind.

Originally written for