Label: War Anthem Records
Yup. Ladies and gentleman, Axel Sikth has returned to dispense Chainsaw Justice upon this earth once more. Since most of our readership right now weren't here in CJ's early days (read: about a year ago when 206-grind and FleshMonolith weren't the sole writers because it was still a one-man op) I'm sure no one knows who the fuck I am. I actually do not mind too much and therefore will spare the history lessons and self-indulgent self-introductions. I shall leave it to my flawless writing and exquisite taste to win you over.
Now onto this review. To quote a Metal Archives acquaintance of mine, "New Inhume is total titties". If we take "titties" here to mean "good", then sure, I suppose I could agree, but only partially. If it meant "bad", I would have a similar response. "Yes, but not completely." Let me elaborate.
If you loved the delicious slab of brutal deathgrind that was 2007's Chaos Dissection Order, then you have a decent chance of enjoying this album. It's got the same Insect Warfare-style vocals (bowel-shifting low gutturals speckled with rabid shrieking), the same blindfire-blast sections transitioning into some killer grooves, and heavy-as-falling-skyscrapers guitar tones (except beefier this time around). With Moulding The Deformed though, Inhume explored a couple of new things, and perhaps, because of that, the aforementioned old things suffered.
Besides the newly buffed guitar tones (think of Insect Warfare's World Extermination compared to their stuff off the This Comp Kills Fascists, Vol. 1 compilation), changes in new Inhume include (gasp) longer songs! I know, a seemingly superficial change, but this change in song length is one of the reasons why I said you have a "decent chance" at enjoying this album instead of "you will fucking jizz your brains over it". In Moulding..., Inhume seem to have traded off most of their intense, catchy, concise deathgrind for lengthier brutal death metal with grind sections. Opening salvo "Deadbeat", "Pandemic", "Phobia", and "Sea of Limbs" still exemplify the traditional 2-minute grindcore song that was pretty much Chaos Dissection Order. With the exception of "Pandemic" though, the rest of these tunes all have seem to lost that hostile groove and merely grind on with little else to break the monotony.
Some of the longer songs aren't too shabby though. "Virus" blasts along at jarring speeds before shifting into a comfortable mid-pace double-bass-supported riff which then breaks into full-on headbanging groove. Riff development is one improvement in Moulding... and "Cure For Life" is another tune that displays this. It opens with the sound of air raid sirens and tank-tread double-bass and palm-muted tremolo picking which break into a fully-realized riff and then assumes blasting position. The problem here though, is the poor transition between slower death metal sections and grind sections.
The title track handles that well, but some songs can be quite "hit-or-miss", being similar to Chaos... but longer, and consequently unfocused or just being hookless. Where Inhume do succeed though, they do make it count. "Pandemic" carries some D-beat swagger with it, the title track, "Virus", "Premeditated", "Compulsory Infected", and closer "Violent Overkill" flow flawlessly from deranged riff to riff. "Cure For Life", though rough in its beginning transitions, closes powerfully.
Despite some losses in the songwriting department and another minor quibble (the drum tone still doesn't hit as hard as I feel it should; I know, I ask for a lot), Moulding The Deformed is still a solid release and very much worth a listen for the death metal and grindcore fan. You could do much worse.