Logo looks familiar? As does the name… Asa checks out the latest OSDM from Inhuman Condition!
Inhuman Condition are a Death/Thrash band from Florida with some serious pedigree behind it. Featuring ex-Massacre members Terry Butler (Bass), Jeramie Kling (Drums/Vocals) and Taylor Nordberg (Guitars), the band got together to use all their previous material written for Massacre that unfortunately never saw the light of (day due to their departure). The band name is taken from the 1992 Massacre demo of the same name and the logo is exactly the same style so there’s no beating around the bush: This IS Massacre 2.0. And with a line-up consisting of such incredible firepower, you’d be forgiven if you’re expecting something brilliant. So, let’s go take a peek and see what the trio has to offer.
‘Crown Of Mediocrity’ kicks things off with some classic old school Death/Thrash riffing. Jeramie’s guttural roars sound like classic Death Metal, the drumming is likened to a constant barrage of artillery and the bass rumbles with such low end that it could cause earthquakes. However, the riffs are king here, sounding like something you’d expect to hear on a classic OSDM album. You have a short solo that is atonal and chaotic. The song is a perfect representation of what the band are trying to achieve and is a great starter that leaves you wanting more. ‘Euphoriphobia’ sucker punches you with Thrash beats, tremolo picked riffage and another short solo before slowing things down for a mid-paced neckwrecker that brings the heavy Thrash influence to the fore. You get an extended solo that is filled with whammy bar excellence before a final sprint to the finish line. It’s a short track but packs a heavy punch. ‘Fait Accompli’ has an atmospheric opening that brings some Slayer-esque vibes before things turn up a notch with foreboding chords and a menacing lead. The song switches between faster tempos that are pure Death Metal and slower sections that reek of Thrash. This song also provides two insane solos, with one being pure shred and the other having some darker melodic textures to it.
‘Gravebound’ starts things slow before picking up pace with some ferocious Death/Thrash riff work and a catchy chorus. There are some real Leprosy era Death moments thrown in for good measure, and a particularly tasty riff that changes the tempo about halfway through. It’s so far the catchiest song on the album but it doesn’t sacrifice any of its heaviness. The fifth track, ‘Killing Pace’ rips straight from the start having a stronger focus on the Thrash influences with mid-tempo stomps that will get pits thrashing and necks spinning. It’s another short track but one that is made to get crowds moving with its infectious riffs and catchy chorus. ‘Planetary Paroxysm’ changes the focus back to more straight-up Death Metal territory with its savage, unhinged riffs, pulverizing drums, feral roars and earth-shattering bass. The tempo switches add to the chaos, as do the manic solos. If the Death Metal side is more for you, then this song will not disappoint.
The title track, ‘Rat God’, starts with choirs, pianos and distorted chords before erupting into crushing Death/Thrash insanity. The riffs have a fun quality to them, with their simple but effective nature making them earwormy content. The solo is, of course, brilliant, as is the rhythm underneath it. The penultimate track of the album, ‘The Neck Step’ begins with a slow, punishing riff that will leave you in need of a neck brace before upping the ante, and the tempo, for furious Death/Thrash riffage that will get one-man pits started the world over. The excellent first riff makes a return as the chorus before the middle section brings us much of what we expect from the band. Frantic riffs, slow riffs and a mind-bending solo wreak havoc and it’s as glorious as you’d expect it to be. The final track is entitled ‘Tryantula’ and it’s a stormer. The intro is layered with different percussive layers, accompanied by atmospheric chants and throat singing. The track proceeds to reign fire with a left-right hook that sees mid-paced brutality paired with intense speed. It’s a destructive concoction that makes these simple riffs so incredibly effective. We’re treated to two solos once more that add to the madness before the song ends with a short shot of adrenaline and one final bellow of “TRYANTULA!”. It’s a suitably abrupt and brutal ending to an album that is kind of like an abrupt, brutal kick to the nuts.
Overall, Rat God is a brilliant, short burst of Death/Thrash excellence. It’s simplistic, it’s heavy as all hell but it’s catchy and a great amount of fun to listen to. The added little flourishes here and there heighten the experience further and repeated listens only bring more enjoyment. This is an album steeped in old school sensibilities and I have no doubt that if it were released back in 1992, it would be a bonafide classic. The performances on the album are top notch. Everyone is on fire and give it their all. The bass is thunderous and provides the much-needed meat. The drums are an explosive assault on the senses that do what they must during each section, providing the bands backbone. The guitars are tight and deliver crushing riffs with almost surgical precision. And the vocals are aggressive and guttural, providing the old school vibes that suit this type of music. I would maybe like to hear some more high shrieks on occasion but that’s just a personal thing. The mixing is overall solid, but I do think the bass is a bit too loud as it can occasionally drown things out and sound a little too thunderous, and the guitar tones can also be a little muddy at times, but these are small complaints that don’t affect the overall experience. The mix is still good, and everything is still easy to hear, even if things can get a touch muddy at times. The album doesn’t have much originality to it, but I think that’s it’s biggest strength. It knows what it wants to be and delivers it to a high standard. It’s catchy, savage, heavy and, more importantly, a damn good time. If you’re after a Death/Thrash album that sounds like a mixture between Death, Slayer, Obituary and Exodus, then this is the record for you. It’s great from front to back with never having a dull moment. It’s not trying to be something new but with riffs this good, who cares? Gather some friends, grab a few cases of beers, get a barbie started and throw this on. It’s guaranteed to be a brilliant time for all.
Rat God is out on 04/06/2021 pre order via BandCamp