EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT have progressed in leaps and bounds through their career, acquiring the attention of Extreme Management Tour Group and the illustrious Unique Leader Records on their journey. February 25th signals the latest instalment in their catalogue entitled Heresy Of The Highest Order, and it’s a release which could prove to be quite polarising.
Kathy O’Brian immediately jumps straight into a discordant frenzy that ducks and weaves in various directions. Gruesome gutturals and punishing drum beats further intensify the chaos. The first impression may have been enough to put some listeners off with its lack of cohesion but title track Heresy Of The Highest Order feels a lot more structured and straightforward to digest. Haunting melodies swarm around the arrangement. Whilst still containing a wild array of tempo shifts, the hooks instilled throughout are particularly gripping.
The further we delve into this piece it does descend back into the realms of barbaric assault. High Clearance Code Access twists and turns between maniacal technicality and bursts of swift riff work that resemble a high speed chase that could turn into a multiple car pile-up at a moments’ notice. It Began With Lizards follows suit with an onslaught of blast beats and crazed dissonance that despite being hellbent on aural destruction feels rather haphazard.
Manipulation Of The Senses injects some much needed groove into proceedings. Unfortunately as per previous iterations they cannot resist hitting the accelerator and bombarding you. Murder Of The Ancients begins with a bunch of undecipherable growls but redeems itself with splatters of alluring instrumentation along the way. Never Ending Human Misery approaches light speed with unrelenting volleys of savage drumming which does an impressive job of battering your ear drums, providing one of the most coherent tracks on offer. The Lucid Dreamer has absolutely zero intention of going quietly, fierce galloping riffs combine with raspy screams to end this test of endurance on a more positive note.
There is a line between what constitutes extreme metal and an end product which feels like an unstructured mess. There are sparks to entice you hidden amongst the waves of volatile ferocity but overall the ‘throw a tonne of notes at a fretboard to see what sticks’ approach grows tiresome quickly. It is a big shame as EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT clearly have the technical acumen to create some really solid tracks, but Heresy Of The Highest Order really misses the mark. Contrary to what some may believe, death metal isn’t just about who can be the most ‘brutal’ and it seems the trio got a bit carried away with this effort.
Heresy Of The Highest Order is set for release on February 25th via Unique Leader Records.
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