(In the following review DGR takes a very deep dive into the new album by the German band Mental Cruelty, which was released near the end of June by Century Media Records.)
The deathcore genre is one that has absorbed so much over the years in the nuclear arms race for ‘heavy’ that we’ve gone beyond being able to track down any particular list of influences or context being provided. We’re layers upon layers deep at this point, and much as it was opined in our writeup for Worm Shepherd‘s latest, it seems like the genre has folded in on itself enough times that at this point it’s just short of a few tempering baths and a sharpening stone that it could be morphed into a sharp blade.
Lately, groups have made use of these insanely multi-talented vocalists, adding their own multitude of vocals on top of it, so that the attack comes from multiple directions, embraced backing symphonics, and cranked the tempo up to near-lightspeed at all times. It has become a genre of ‘a lot’, and a lot is thrown at you any time you’re listening to such a group. Many, it seems, have warmed to the idea of getting by on sheer bombast alone. However, some impressive groups within that sphere have managed to make use of the ever-increasing multitude of weapons offered to them, and Germany’s Mental Cruelty are one such group.
Germany is already pretty skilled at making brutal death and slam music, so it wasn’t too shocking that Mental Cruelty‘s earlier works were born out of and were fully within that vein, but the group made a massive leap in that symphonics-backed brutal-death direction on their 2021 album A Hill To Die Upon. Of course, not long after the group would lose a vocalist as sexual assault allegations came to light post-signing to Century Media, because that seemingly inevitable sword that hovers above all -core group’s heads came collecting.