Album Review: Wretched – Cannibal

Wretched - Cannibal

Wretched [USA]
Cannibal
2014
Full Length
Victory Records
Technical Death Metal/Deathcore

American technical death metal band Wretched this year releases their brand new album, Cannibal, and only my second death metal encounter with Victory Records. With the band’s past few releases garnering rather impressive feedback, and the current run of excellent technical death metal releases this year, I was certainly excited to hear what Wretched has to offer on Cannibal.

After the rather mid-paced Gold Above Me, the band kicks things up a notch rather unexpectedly with Morsel, and immediately the myriad of technical and complex riffs quickly exhibit the talents and virtuosity of each of the band members, though the focus here seems to be very much on the work of the axe-wielding duo Steven and Joel. The riffs that are unleashed by them easily reminds one of the work of bands such as Spawn of Possession or Necrophagist in the technicality that is displayed, though they often indulge in more melodic moments throughout as well, preventing the album from the pitfall of becoming yet another lifeless and emotion-less tech-death release. This fusion of intensity, melody and emotions is perhaps what brings about the comparison to The Black Dahlia Murder that Wretched has encountered since their first releases.

That said, each of the other instrumentation on the album also aid in the experience of Cannibal. For instance, the bass of Andrew is rather high in the mix, and on top of providing much of the low-end growl to Cannibal, it also allows him to display his technical abilities, often following the complex lines of Steven and Joel with much ease. Marshall’s drumming is also stellar, as he sets the pace for the band, often switching between different styles and rhythm to mess with the listener’s minds. But it is also Adam’s vocals that helped in making the Cannibal listening experience rather fulfilling, as he alternates between higher pitch shrieks and growls, fitting the mood and emotions that are on each of the tracks.

While there are a few rather core-ish moments on the album, with the few breakdowns that are littered throughout, the technical aspects of Cannibal more than sufficiently makes up for these, and overall Wretched‘s new album is still a pretty enjoyable one.

[xrr rating=4/5]

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