There must be something in the water flowing through the Republic of Poland as one look at the bands that originate from the region is quite compelling: Behemoth, Decapitated, Hate, Vader and Trauma, just to name a few. It does not quite rival Sweden, but it is not too far behind.
Embrional, hailing from Gliwice, Poland sound much more akin to Morbid Angel with the progressive and dissonant elements of Gorguts and the groove of Meshuggah. ‘The Devil Inside’ is Embrional’s second full length album, following 2012’s Absolutely Ant-Human Behaviors. At that time, they showed raw potential, however, considerable work was required on their songwriting. ‘The Devil Inside’ is a natural progression and does not sound as though they have over worked their sound, which can occur when a band tries too hard.
Embrional set themselves apart from their compatriots by their change of pace from one track to the next. Take, for instance, the mind shifting death metal onslaught beginnings to ‘Evil Mucus’ to the doom trodden drone of ‘Funeral March’, they also deliver irregular patterns and time signatures within songs such is the groove pelt and drum rhythm intersections of ‘The Abyss’.
‘The Devil Inside’ is sinister. To give the impression that something menacing or evil is about to happen is the pure definition of the word; one listen to the introduction piece and title track will affirm this, as it is a frightening horror show of a track littered with anguished female screams, murderous intent, and suspense.
The album art really epitomises the ominous and disquieting experience that’s on show during the 43 minute album. If only the overall experience was consistent throughout, then we might very well have been mentioning ‘The Devil Inside’ as a contender for the Death Metal release of the year – It just falls short of that mark, unfortunately. There are some incredible moments throughout, though; the ‘Davidian’ like riff of ‘Venom’ and the Slayer vocal monument of ‘Whores, Drugs and Brain Dead’, but this could be considered the problem with the album. The fact that it’s just these moments that are the highlights and not whole songs.
The area that also holds this back is the atrociously stark drum production, now this is almost unforgivable as the actual drum work of Kamil Bracichowicz is blistering and some of the best work delivered in 2015, and it’s a shame just a touch more polish wasn’t given to the sounds as they accompany the rest of the rhythm section. Embrional are at their very best when they push themselves beyond that generic death metal sound and delivery, and they have a natural ability to transition between straight forward death metal to progressive and innovative sections with incredible ease.
If Embrional can tie it all together, eliminate those weaker spots, and build a song around one idea, riff, or rhythm rather the incredible highs and disappointing lows, and not to mention the drum production, then album number three is one to watch out for.
01 The Devil Inside
02 Evil’s Mucus
03 Funeral March
04 The Abyss
06 In Darkness
07 Behind The Mask Of Sanity
09 Madman’s Curse
12 Whores, Drugs and Brain Dead