Virulency – The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution (Review)

VirulencyThis is the début album from Spanish Brutal Death Metal band Virulency.

I really enjoyed their 2012 début EP, Unbearable Martyrdom Landscapes, so when this much-anticipated début album found its way to me, I knew I had to give it a thorough listening as soon as I could.

First impressions – I like the album cover as it just screams BRUTAL DEATH METAL at the top of its blood-ridden lungs. Nice.

So, delve into the pit of Virulency and what do we get? We get ultra-brutal Death Metal that’s nicely heavy and suitably extreme. This is not the kind of thing that Joe Public would like. At all.

Elements of Grindcore and the slam-Death Metal styles are to be heard scattered throughout these tracks and the relentless hammering of the music definitely hits the spot.

They have retained the tasty sound that they had on their EP, with a satisfying guitar tone and nicely balanced drums. You can even hear the bass, which is always good, especially as it is played well and does some interesting things; it adds a strangely-tense undertone to the music and is a welcome constant companion as you tour these depths of corruption and mutation.

The only real disappointment for me is the vocals, as these appear to have gone a bit more into the realms of pignoise squeals than previously. This is not a vocal style I massively enjoy as when it’s over-used it tends to rob a singer of all of their power when compared to actual growls. To be fair to the singer though, his vocals tread just the right side of ridiculous, and he retains enough vestigial strength in his voice to just about pull it off, which I’m very grateful for. It’s just that, for me, in an ideal world, actual growls would have been so much better. On the odd occasion that growls do appear on these tracks it’s like a filter has been removed and all of a sudden the band are complete. But hey, that’s just my taste.

Overall, slight vocal issues aside, this is still a very satisfyingly brutal 29 minutes, one that I heartily recommend you check out.

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