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Monstrosity - In Dark Purity
Review: Thundering death metal always their forte, Monstrosity have pounded an album that reflects 1991's "Imperial Doom" in its focus and aggressive rhythmic attack but develops a refinement to intricate, precise playing and complexity even within a relatively conventional song structural system.
Lead riffing sometimes ventures into the up and down soloing that has made much of metal boring, but that is relatively rare, and the main focus is an Eddie Van Halen turned-evil emphasis on offtime rhythm, like Meshuggah with more tasteful brutality in pummeling. Riffs themselves run a gamut of influences from speed metal to black metal, with a sense of melody that is purely the maturation of death metal into a technical art. Often key song structures are dispatched with postmodern blasts or melodic inversions, in something in the sense of Slayer or Bathory, but the reliance upon and exaltation in the blast beat and its components glorifies this music as death metal with all of the fervor it must possess to execute its transferrence of vision.
Two hands play the guitar, one fretting and one strumming, in most death metal technique and Monstrosity master that latter hand with a delicate yet delicious energy that delivers internal textures to these riffs that transcend direct for a surreality of textures. While they incorporate many heavy metal elements, including lead guitar, that influence remains a part of Tampa-style death metal and in their heritage and brought to effect here it is in more significant effect than in say, Dream Theater or Opeth. Mythological in its dynamics, thunderous in its sound, and precise in its playing and structure, this is an album to celebrate the continuation of death metal as theory and violent practice.