In the annals of brutal death metal, few bands have a profile as large or as indelible as Pathology’s. With nine albums on their resumes since 2006, including their new self-titled one, they essentially followed an annual release schedule until the three years that have now passed since Throne of Reign. Despite the passage of those years, the line-up has remained intact: Dave Astor, the only consistent member of the band since its inception, is still behind the kit; Tim Tiszczenko still wields the axe in a way that dispenses with the need for a bass player; and the beastly Matti Way remains in control of the vocal onslaught. In other words, the triumvirate who reunited with 2013’s Lords of Rephaim are still in harness together.
If you take the long view of Pathology’s career, you could argue that they’ve been marching toward greater degrees of intricacy and stylistic flare within a genre known for its primitive, gore-soaked, head-smashing heaviness, arguably reaching a zenith in their progress with Throne of Reign. And so what has happened in the intervening three years? And could the band’s decision to self-title their new album after that stretch of time be taken as a sign of a re-start or a re-set?
Well, rather than barge into a review of the entire album, let’s just stick to “Shudder” — which is the track we’re premiering today.