Mass Infection: For I Am Genocide

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Mass Infection: For I Am Genocide
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Mass Infection: For I Am Genocide
Brutal Death Metal
Comatose Music
April 1st, 2014
Release length: 36:32
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Mass Infection is a Greek Brutal Death Metal group that many fans of the genre are well aware of. They formed at the start of 2003, unleashed two demos, which lead to 2007’s debut full-length album Atonement for Iniquity, released through Black Edge Records. Another demo followed in 2008 before 2009’s follow-up The Age of Recreation was released through Pathologically Explicit Recordings. Other than their 2011 multi-band split, it’s been a while since the group spent any time in the studio. After roughly five years that silence is broken with their third album For I Am Genocide, this time finding a home on Comatose Music. Is this the long overdue new release fans have been waiting for, or are there signs of rust from the large gap of silence?

For I Am Genocide takes from plenty of blast beat driven Death Metal groups, most notably Krisiun, early Kataklysm, and even some Deicide thrown into the mix. The latter is largely just a chunk here and there though. “Praised By All the Entities” is a good example, blasting away on the drums with some technical riffs layered over that hold a very slight hint of the Middle East at times. The guitars also have a sharper distortion overall, but can become deeper such as around the minute and forty-five seconds mark, and again another forty-five seconds later. It’s a nice additional touch that helps to give a song a little more of an identity to separate it and others from one another, as this effort can sound more repetitive at first than it actually ends up being.

“The Scourge of Living Forms” has some of the tightest guitar-work on the entire album. Some passages, like around the two minute mark, really do usher in some high speed intensity that is geared right at ripping your face off, seamlessly shifting in and out again of deeper ominous melodic leads. The latter is a rarity of the release, as it caters more to blistering brutality. “Unearthly Legion” captures this quite well in the drumming once more. The guitars do keep up with it well enough, though some patterns end up being just slight alterations to the previous verse. Some of the chords can also be thinned due to their technicality by slowing their presence to pull the notes off. These very few, equally as brief times wouldn’t be much of a problem if the bass guitar were more dominant in the mix like it is in scattered passages of “Beyond Perpetuation,” but, sadly, it doesn’t really fill the gaps entirely, leaving an obvious interruption to the flow of the song.

There is one track that really sticks out like a welcomed sore thumb, and it’s the instrumental piece “Nihilism Reigns.” It’s a largely groove based performance that shows off some real control in the medium to slower paced guitars, as well as the restrained drumming. It all creates an unsettling environment similar to some of the leads in “Maelstrom of Endless Suffering,” a bludgeoning and largely depressing piece of commanding Death Metal, which would have made a fantastic bleed into “The Genocide Revealed.” Instead it builds up to it with ease, making the sudden start feel almost as natural for this slightly blackened cut.

The biggest issue to this album is the vocals. It’s not that they’re bad despite having a limited range, but rather how they clash with the performances. The music sounds a little buried outside of the click of the bass kicks, which clashes with the crisp, louder gutturals. Their clarity also makes them sound a little flat and not always on par with the incredibly energetic performances. The other gripe is that, since this is a largely blast beat fuelled effort, there is some repetition that sticks largely to the drums. On your first few spins it’s easy to shrug it off as the same thing over and over, and in many ways the drums will only alter the pattern with something as simple as a different cymbal. However, if you pay close enough attention to the release and give it some time to show itself off to you, you will notice some changes you might not pick up on otherwise, as well as take note of how the guitars are really where the variety lies on this recording.

To an untrained ear, or someone just not paying close enough attention, For I Am Genocide can sound like the same couple songs rehashed over the course of thirty-five plus minutes. But when you really sit down and listen, there’s a lot more going on than what you perceive. Mass Infection does have some set backs in the drum patterns and the cosmetically flawed crisp and loud vocals, but even with these issue the band does a stellar job at presenting brutality and rage with enough intense complexity to have you crawling back on broken knees. If you don’t have the time to invest in discovering what lies under the obvious, this is not for you. However, if you do, then For I Am Genocide has plenty of surprises in store for you.

01. Praise By All the Entities – 3:29
02. The Scourge of Living Forms – 4:09
03. Hierarchy of the Highest Abomination – 3:31
04. Beholding the Throne – 3:32
05. Unearthly Legion – 3:24
06. Maelstrom of Endless Suffering – 3:32
07. Beyond Perpetuation – 4:16
08. Nihilism Reigns – 2:52
09. The Genocide Revealed – 6:46
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Mass Infection
Mass Infection

Digital review copy of this release provided by Comatose Records via Clawhammer PR.