|Review: Inoculation - Celestial Putridity|
Label: Maggot Stomp
Year released: 2021
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: May 20, 2021
Reviewed by: Micah.Ram
Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)
Newly signed to Maggot Stomp, Cleveland Ohio's Inoculation have released their second full-length album. The Death Metal trio impressed me with their first album, 2018's Pure Cosmic Dread, but with the release of 2021's Celestial Putridity we have here a sign of genuine progression in the writing and production, yielding their best effort yet.
The album is challenging to describe as it accomplishes a lot within its ten tracks, possessing traits familiar and unfamiliar with general Death Metal fans. One of the closest band comparisons that leaps out to me is Skeletal Remains, with a less classic Death Metal vocal in the mix. However, simply comparing to this one band does not do Inoculation justice. The album starts with an intro track which does not attempt to present music but rather aid in the alien and outer-space-like themes with which the band writes. Being that it sets up the atmosphere, it is not the turnoff many intro tracks tend to be, although I still could do without it. The first real track here is the title track, "Celestial Putridity," which does not waste any time getting to the grinding Death Metal action, shifting into different grooves and tempo segments rather quickly. A quality found here which will satisfy listeners with a short attention span is the fact that the band never sits on a single riff or groove for very long before moving on to another. This quality is true of any other song on the album. The solo is performed within familiar technical domains while also maintaining a futuristic vibe with its unique tonal qualities and how it sits melodically within the harmonic frame.
Rather than continue to go track by track here, it is fair to say that much of the album follows the same qualities, although each song has its own identity and standout qualities. The fourth track, "Verity Consumated," has my favorite moment on the album, a bizarrely triumphant-sounding interjection played by the guitar at 1:44 before turning into a hailstorm of blasting drums and chaotic soloing. I can't help but wonder if that moment was the first thing written and the song was written around it. It feels random, which sometimes describes some of the odd tempo shifts and ideas. While some may criticize the band for such antics most likely on claims that the writing is not organic enough, I appreciate those moments, as those are the ones that stand out the most in the listening.
"The Edge of Town" is another standout track, which has some rather catchy guitar melodies and unique moments. "Kaneh-Bosm" and "Universal Entropy" are excellent closing numbers for the album, providing a solid finish. The soloing at the end of the first of these two tracks is so cool, it is definitely worth checking out. The syncopated vocal attack at the beginning of the last track is impressively long and fun to listen to. The band's three members all provide vocals, and this track is a great example of a song in which one can hear all the different vocal timbres and how they mix together. Often throughout the record, low and high Death Metal vocals are layered in a way not so different from what Glen Benton has done in Deicide.
Overall, this record is quite fun to listen to, always possessing a high energy with frequently changing grooves and riffs. The vocals are varied to great effect. The guitars are always busy, frequently playing triplets, a rhythm with which the band seems fixated on and performs very well. Celestial Putridity is a solid follow-up from this trio and fans of Death Metal should absolutely give this a spin.
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