Miscreants of Bloodlusting Abberations
I haven’t really heard much from the Philippines underground metal scene, apart from the war metal band Deiphago who have made a name for themselves with their chaotic art, and even they have moved out of the country to Costa Rica. But here we have Pathogen‘s sophomore full length album, Miscreants of Bloodlusting Abberations, being reissued this year under the excellent Dunkelheit Produktionen featuring a brand new album artwork.
Despite this being the band’s second full length release, the first thing that one notices right from the start of Miscreants of Bloodlusting Abberations is the extremely raw production quality, more befitting of a demo rather than a proper, full length release. But this is perhaps the direction that Pathogen aims to take, with the music, along with the production quality being old school as fuck. The Floridian death metal influences are immediately extremely clear right from the start with the urgent riffs and the extremely fast-paced tempo of the music, reminding one of bands such as Morbid Angel or Malevolent Creation with that thrashy attitude that has been included into their craft. This is especially so with often shred-friendly lead guitars on the album, sounding like a cross between Trey Azagthoth and Kerry King with the speed and chaotic style that is utilised.
Songs like Leviathan also see the band start to bring in a mixture of influences from bands like Autopsy and early Swedish bands like Nihilist and Entombed in the riffing style of guitarists Erwin and Willie. On tracks like these the lead guitars that are layered above the rhythm section also have the same haunting effects that Swedish bands have popularised, displaying the band’s mastery of old school death metal of all forms.
This album is not without its pitfalls though. While the raw production quality is pretty understandable considering the band’s old school creed in their songwriting, there are moments where the guitar tone gets rather irritating, sounding extremely thin and lacking any form of dynamics, as though the band simply plugged their guitars into a 15 watt amp and simply recorded straight through it. Also, there are moments where the lead and the rhythm seem to be playing different keys, leaving one feeling rather disoriented, and spoiling what would have otherwise been a nice, old school, headbanging experience. Still, Miscreants of Bloodlusting Abberations is a nice sneak preview to the underground metal scene that is brewing in Southeast Asia.