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Mindblowing and technical - 98%

BabySchraiberJesus, September 21st, 2006

I recently ordered this CD during a binge of orders from The End, and this one has blown them all away. Spawn of Possession really don't bring anything new to the table, as it were, but they have synthesized and created a wholey unique kind of technical death metal that no other band does quite as well.

Prior to my purchase of this album, I had only heard a couple tracks from Cabinet (which I had intended to buy but I was unable to locate it!) and thought they were pretty damned good, mixing a Necrophagist-like technicality with brutality and their own Spawn of Possession twist. The band continues in the same vein through their sophomore effort, perhaps toning the brutality down just a bit but only as a means of creating a more cohesive set of songs that feature plenty of catchy/distinguishable melodies and more mind-bending technicality.

The band fits into the melodic-tech-death genre (along with the likes of Necrophagist, Anata, and labelmates Psycroptic) which has recieved numerous ass-kicking releases this year. The first thing that sets this album apart, in my opinion, is the extreme usage of dual guitar harmony. Almost every section of every song has some usage of dual guitar harmony! This is not just Iron Maiden harmonized thirds, either; this is serious atonal counterpoint with both guitars operating independent of one another much of the time. However, don't get the impression that the band is going to lull you into a Dark Tranquillity-like state of melody... because all of a sudden the tempo picks up and they come blasting with a vicious brutality. And to top it all off, they might lay down a killer groove (see Solemn they Await)!

Another great aspect of this album is the vocal performance; Jonas Renvaktar delivers lightning fast lines that my friends and I have referred to as "death metal rap" due to their intense and driving rhythm. The album also features two guests on vocal duty, and I have to say Robbie K's gutteral vocals on By A Thousand Death's Fullfilled serve as a nice change from Jonas' more dry vocals.

The only downsides I see on this album are that the songs have a bit of a samey feel (except for Sour Flow, which I feel is the "ballad" of the album... that is to say, it's a bit slower. Still very technical though!) and that the drums are sometimes a little uninspired. Lots of unaccented blasting and meat beats. I guess, though, that it was a good way to keep the album somewhat grounded, considering the acrobatics that the guitars are doing.

Definitely a must-buy of 2006, and one of my favorite death metal albums ever!