Review 2235 : Pathology – Unholy Descent – English

New threat from Pathology.

Just under three years after their last misdeed, Dave Astor (drums, Being Killed, ex-Cattle Decapitation), Obie Flett (vocals, Inherit Disease, ex-Hydrocephalic), Ricky Jackson (bass) and Dan Richardson (guitar, Condemned, ex-Lord of War) sign to Agonia Records for the release of Unholy Descent, their twelfth album.

Well-known to fans of greasy, heavy American-style violence, Pathology aren’t known for doing things by halves, and it’s with confidence that I launch Unholy Descent. It’s an epic introduction, but I know that the war is near, and it starts right away with Cult of the Black Triangle, where Obie‘s screams are coupled with a devastating rhythm. Harmonics lend a majestic edge to certain passages, but the riffs continue to rage before giving way to Hermetic Gateways and its howling leads, which bring a rawer edge to the catchy track and its effective moshparts, before the band crushes us with Psychotronic Abominations. We have a few welcome touches of technicality between the explosive palm-mutes, as on the final solo, and then the relentless fury kicks in again until Summon the Shadows, which strikes with an equally jerky approach to savagery. The sound becomes more imposing and hypnotic on the introduction to Whispers of the Djinn, but the band soon return to their fatally aggressive tab before returning to orchestrations on the final which leads into Archon, borrowing some vicious dissonant lead parts from Black/Death before the Old School break. Darkness lasts until Malevolent Parasite, but it’s undermined by one of the breathless patterns and massive moshparts that also follow on Diabolical Treachery, where the sound is at times much more shrill, almost disturbing at times. The solos add a touch of melody that disappears as soon as the rhythm picks up again, just like on Demons in the Aether, which doesn’t spare us and hits full power from the outset, before temporizing with regular changes. The onslaught continues with Punishment Beyond Comprehension, where the guitars’ melodic influences and a few samples return, only to be transformed into the ominous tones of Apostles of Fire before the band unleashes its full power. These same tones reappear regularly before the final heaviness that finally gives way to A World Turned to Ashes, where the recipe continues to work at full speed, but is cut short by rare moments of gentleness, as if to bring the album to a close.

Pathology‘s recipe keeps the same overpowering basis, but Unholy Descent takes the liberty of inserting a few melodic touches to its violence, tinting the band’s Brutal Death with a more majestic veil.


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