U.S. death metal veterans Monstrosity make an imposing return after 11 years of silence. The new album is astonishingly gripping and an aggressive piece of death metal music set high on a professional level of execution. Formed in 1991 by the former vocalist George the Fisher and Lee Harrison, this elite group gained attention in their early years of formation and were beside the first brutal death metal bands like Deicide, Morbid Angel and Malevolent Creation to surface with supreme technique. Despite the line-up changes they remained authentic and released classical albums like Imperial Doom and Millennium, the only thing which the band lacks is the consistency of staying together. The current line-up consists of drummer Lee Harrison (who is the only original member left since the formation of the band), vocalist Mike Hrubovcak and bassist Mike Poggione (who have been present in the past albums) along with guitarist Mark English (who has been present since 2006) and the only new member and guitarist Matt Barnes.
In fact this may be their best album since In Dark Purity. The Passage of Existence may amend such accusations as the band once again retains their shape. The new material is filled with superior riffs and technical skills, given a sophisticated quality to song-writing and combining old school with modern death metal. I ought to say that The Passage of Existence which is their 6th album isn’t just any comeback album from this Floridan death metal band. Monstrosity is a band that concentrates on eccentric riff work, heavy grooves and with Passage of Existence they have found the key element to their musical progression. The opening track Cosmic Pandemia embodies solid brutality and groove, commencing with roaring growls and impressive drum beats. Not only that: about midway the song you will be overtaken by fast ripping solos.
Also Kingdom of Fire strikes with intense riffing and swift solos. These two tracks easily set the mood to the whole album. The bass guitar throbs in Kingdom of Fire, the drums are professionally performed, the solos sound very clean and modern, the guitar techniques are on par as well. The concept of the album is very inspiring with some ambient interludes that connect the songs together. The drums are varied between heavy mauling and blast beats, drummer Lee Harrison is capable to deliver some rapid blasting. While still maintaining their technical side they infuse a significant amount of classy death metal riffs and this essentially made them find an abstract composition to re-shape their sound to gigantic measures.
Moving unto the next song Radiated is torturous and brutally carried out with unrelenting atrocity as you can hear the utter anger of vocalist Mike Hrubovcak. In terms of the musical compositions, I find Passage of Existence to have many memorable moments. There are certain elements applied to the album which resulted into this modern and professional sound, making the 12 tracks be very consistent. The album shuffles towards brutality, the perfect mix of thrash metal is boasted with ripping solos and the technical death metal work as has always been their trademark.
Solar Vacuum and The Proselygiest (which is six minutes long) are prime examples of how death metal should sound in the modern days, collecting melodies and formulaic structures that reveals the band’s intellectual side. The musical efforts are also very evident in tracks such as Maelstrom and Eyes upon the Abyss where you can hear the melodies swelling in the songs, giving us another touch of musical experimentation. Passage of Existence is a fine technical death metal album where each track takes a natural course to build up into a growing beast of an album. All the focus work here is based on the riff work which is fueled with powerful dynamics and filled with heavy death metal riffs without sacrificing on the technical measures. There are certain tracks like Dark Matter Invocation for which I couldn’t help myself but hit the repeat button. As for the cover art of the album, it reflects the demonic side of the band and generally speaking the band is very particular when it comes to extremity.
The Hive is one of their best tracks ever written in my opinion. In fact this entire album lines with excellent melodies and solos provided with slugging death metal riffs. Monstrosity has the capability of functioning at a ginormous level when it comes to brutality. Their music embodies refined death metal tones preferring to cover more technical areas where they sound integral and unified. Passage of Existence climbs straight to my list of top death metal albums of 2018 and I will constantly say so!
Release Date : September 7th, 2018
Label : Metal Blade Records
Track list :
2. Kingdom of Fire
7.Eyes upon the Abyss
8.Dark Matter Invocation
12.Slaves to the Evermore