Crashing out of UK’s technical/brutal death metal/grindcore scene is Oblivionized, with their debut EP Abhorrent Evolution. Unlike the typical grindcore bands that one may be familiar with, Abhorrent Evolution does not have songs that flash past in so short a period where a even a blink is considered too long, and contains only 4 tracks.
The album opens with a spoken vocals sampled off the movie Sunshine, giving listeners an almost ominous feeling. While the initial riffs and drum beats are still somewhat coherent, once vocalist Zac comes into the music, all hell instantly breaks loose. His high-pitched shout/growls instantly display the grindcore influences that Oblivionized has in their music, backed by a frenzy instrumental section. Backing vocalist/guitarist Sammy provides for a fuller vocal experience with his growls, complementing the higher pitched styles of Zac.
Drummer Jonathan, right off the start displays his technical ability with the constant shifts in tempo and time signature, yet all the time somehow managing to keep the pace and rhythm of the music, as guitarists Geoff and Sammy top that up with crazy runs on their fretboards, with riffs going at breakneck speeds punctuated by pinch harmonics and seemingly random sweep-picked riffs on songs such as the title track Abhorrent Evolution. The solo on the track is surprisingly not what one would expect, slow and well thought-out instead of brainless wankery and shredding for the sake of showing off their speed. Bassist Phil also constantly displays his virtuosity on his instruments with a heavy presence on the music, such as on Subject to Extinction.
While the band lists themselves as a brutal death metal band, various influences in the music can be heard, whether the band has included them in the music consciously or otherwise. While the first three tracks are your typical technical/brutal death metal fare, the intro of closing track A Modern Prometheus reminds listeners of a more brutal and technical version of black/death metal giants Behemoth. Top that up with the trem-picked riffs that are prominent on the first half of the track, further emphasising the feeling of doom in the listener. On this track as well, spoken vocals are cleverly used to provide a prelude to the final moments of chaos of the album.
The crazy and unpredictable shifts in tempo by Jonathan, while suitably displays his ability on the drums, at times end up threatening to go out of sync with the rest of the instruments, such as certain moments on opening track Born into Decadence, causing confusion to the listeners and this has certainly caused the enjoyment of the songs to be affected slightly.
The raw production on the album also provides a somewhat fresh breath of air to listeners who are used to the polished production quality preferred by most similar-styled technical death metal bands, though I would not complain if a polished mix of the songs were available in the future. The talent present in the band is obvious, and Abhorrent Evolution is certainly a good start of the band’s career.