“Pathogenic Automation”

by Thor

Fargo, North Dakota’s death metal machine GORGATRON returns with their third full-length album “Pathogenic Automation” featuring nine tracks of riff-centric rage.

Recorded by the band and mixed and mastered by guitarist Neal Stein, “Pathogenic Automation” sounds fantastic. It’s heavy and ultra-aggressive, yet it achieves the elusive clarity that extreme metal strives for but often fails to attain.

Musically, these guys play something akin to second and third wave death metal similar to bands such as MONSTROSITY and post-David Vincent era MORBID ANGEL. The vocal approach is straight forward, delivering midrange gutturals over a churning foundation of powerful riffs and drumming that vacillates between serpentine blast parts and neck-ravaging grooves. In the spaces between, there are classic thrash tropes like d-beats and ominous tremolo-picked melodies locked down by SLAYER and SEPULTURA inspired double-bass. Best of all, there are actual, memorable songs to be had!

Conceptually, the songs here feature a little less of the tongue-in-cheek approach of the band’s past output and instead tackle a variety of topics in relatively subtle and ambiguous terms, by death metal’s standards at least. I mean, “Frostbitten Amputation” is subtle, right?

GORGATRON’s “Pathogenic Automation” is one of the better albums this reviewer’s had the pleasure to scrutinize this year. While it could be that the end of the world makes death metal sound extra good right now, I’m convinced that fans of DEEDS OF FLESH, SUFFOCATION, and early DECAPITATED should take heed, nonetheless.