Published Aug 31, 2018It's been a long time since Florida death metal pioneers Monstrosity put out new material, but with the incredible amount of amazing death metal records coming out in the past year from bands old and new, they chose the perfect time to make their comeback. Their sixth record, The Passage of Existence, is a non-stop onslaught of devastating riffs that will please just about any fan of extreme metal.
The band offer up old school death metal vibes through grinding riffs, a bone-rattling bass tone and plenty of chaotic, Slayer-worshipping guitar solos. Tracks such as "Eyes Upon the Abyss," "Century" or "Maelstrom" capture everything that was great about the band's releases throughout the '90s with an added injection of melody. The band's use of melodic guitar work, alongside crushing downtempo riffs, helps break up the brutality into digestible moments, making tracks such as "Kingdom of Fire" and "The Hive" stand out the most on the record.
Vocalist Mike Hrubovcak manages a menacing guttural vocal throughout the album while avoiding the unintelligible gurgling trap into which many modern death metal acts fall. While his voice isn't groundbreaking in any way, it complements the rest of the band perfectly and stands out the most when breaking away from caveman grunts in songs like "The Proselygeist" or "Radiated."
Although the record could benefit from having its runtime chopped down a bit, The Passage of Existence is a solid old-school death metal release for the modern day. Monstrosity remain rooted in the musical elements that provided their genre's foundations while building on the melodic aspects of their most recent work, managing to avoid stagnancy. (Metal Blade)