Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Embrional - Absolutely Anti-Human Behaviors [2012]

Bands like Vader, Behemoth, and Decapitated dominate the Polish death metal scene, yet there are other, lesser known bands who produce finely formulated death metal from Poland as well; Embrional being one of them. Emitting a clear partiality for technical prowess and complex guitar sequences, this four-piece focuses less on the raw aspect of death metal and leans more toward the brutality and the technicality, the latter becoming the biggest trait of their music. That’s not to say that they are outright tech-death like Decapitated or Necrophagist (a genre of which I’m not particularly fond of), because they balance the scale of technicality/brutality/rawness nicely, and don’t overdo it with either of those. Perhaps it’s wrong to say ‘rawness,’ because quite frankly, their music is refined and considerably polished, and there’s not much ‘raw’ death metal to go around, if any at all.

Embrional are clearly influenced by some of the more technically proficient in the genre, and while they’re driven toward lots of modern characteristics and tendencies, most notably the overall ‘brutality’ of their music, they are still able to retain some of that old-school vibe that crops itself up on occasion. Not unlike thousands of other retro tech-death bands that have been emerging incessantly of late, Embrional take their death metal and kick it up a few notches, i.e. keep the speed and intensity at a considerably high level. Most of the riffs are fast and concise tremolos, save some eerie melodies here and there and some more awkward picking styles. They’re driven madly by the drums, which play quite a large role in the music (also a common trait in newer bands - the mistaken belief that the drummer has to be blindingly fast) and very, very rarely slow down the speed. Embrional are also quite fond of those melodies I mentioned (riff after intro to “Bestial Torture”, among millions more), where they unleash quick bursts of tremolos, and perhaps they even overstay their welcome somewhat; chuggy and dissonant spurts of speed… these are thrown all over the place, and honestly get tiring after a while.

The vocalist’s harsh gutturals are yet another similarity that Embrional share with modern bands, vapid and commonplace growls that do little for their music. Luckily they’re not overbearingly loud in the mix, and all the instruments are equally loud in the mix, providing for a balanced result. Despite my distaste for tech-death bands and how easily boredom can arise from their music, Embrional actually mix in little enough of that technicality to make their music fairly interesting, and switch up styles often enough to keep my attention. For some reason, however, I keep leaning away from their more technical songs and keep coming back to “Necropolis”, one of the two instrumentals on the record, that reminds me of the weird tremolos that are present in some of the more unique and strange bands of the genre, namely Portal. Overall, though, “Absolutely Anti-Human Behaviors” is a swift achievement and a solid effort, and many people should enjoy listening to their music. And even though they play nothing that hasn’t been played before, they avoid sounding like a complete copy of any one band, so for that I congratulate them.



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