The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is the debut album of UK deathcore band Infant Annihilator
and although the album itself is listed as self-released, the people from Total Deathcore
had a massive hand in making this album a success. Technicality and brutality are two particular things that deathcore bands nowadays strive for and since it’s so common, it’s meaning has become a bit of a cliché and the strength of the definition has been diluted (I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been throwing that word around willy nilly as well). Especially “brutal”, because there are so many things that people consider and use brutal as a descriptor; “oh my god, the breakdowns are so brutal”, “oh these blast beats are so brutal”, “hear his vocals, they’re so brutal” and typically, if any component of their music is slightly “brutal” the music as a whole can be given the impression of being brutal as well, which isn’t really correct. However I have not come across a band that I could give the “global brutality award” to , well, that was until I came across Infant Annihilator
and The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is one nasty piece of deathcore.
As I mentioned before, there are many bands out there who may have “brutal” breakdowns, and may have “brutal” vocals, and may have “brutal” blast beats. The reason why I put inverted commas around the word, “brutal”, is sometimes bands throw that word around with reckless disregard for it’s meaning. If you get really nit-picky (like what I’m about to do), you’ll find that many bands don’t conform to the definition of “Extremely ruthless or cruel” (the free dictionary.com). I believe that every single one of the aspects of a band needs to have some elements of brutality for it to be fully considered to be “brutal”. Now I’m just going go ahead and say that Infant Annihilator
is brutal, all the way to the bone. There is not a single scrap of “non-brutality” anywhere in The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
, and trust me I’ve looked everywhere, I could find anything soft or relatively melodic (sure, the technicality might hold off for a few seconds here and there, but it doesn’t stop being brutal). The; guitar distortion/tone, guitar riffs, death growls, death/false screams and pig squeals are all brutal. However, I’d like to give a honourable mention to the drumming and the drummer, because the brutality and technicality is head and shoulders above everything else in The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
, the blast beating on the snare and bass drum is completely and utterly insane. Never
have I heard drumming so quick, so potent and so… brutal in my life (also, this band does not use a drum machine).
However, I’d like to send out a travel adversity warning pertaining to the vocal style used for the screams. I know there are many people out there who absolutely hate the really high pitch childish screams that Chelsea Grin
are infamous for. Yeah, well, that’s the vocal style found in The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
may not be exactly the same, but it’s very similar. As for me, I don’t mind Chelsea Grin
’s vocal style, I think the same extreme style suits Infant Annihilator
’s music perfectly.
There are very few technical/brutal (whichever one) deathcore bands who possess an aesthetic which can make everything they play sound awesome. Infant Annihilator
is one of those rare bands which can do this. In terms of the song writing, it’s nothing spectacular, if anything it’s actually quite messy and incoherent (which isn’t a terrible thing considering this is technical deathcore and it is suppose to be that way). Many of those who have read my previous reviews and are familiar with my taste in deathcore knows that I don’t normally go well on the really the technical incoherent approach of deathcore. But I must say, there is just something about Infant Annihilator
which makes this style tolerable and I don’t mind it, I don’t mind it at all. Despite
the inconsistency and incoherent technicality in the song writing, the mood and atmosphere is actually kept quite steady which means the music doesn’t ever lose intensity. This is very important, because I think it’s the very essence of what Infant Annihilator
is about, and The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is a very good example. However, I’m still not sure if I’m being sucked into all the hype or actually liking this style of music because I usually don’t (and funnily enough, it’s the song writing which kills it for me). But I just don’t know what it is about The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
that makes it sound so awesome, are the people from Infant Annihilator
musical geniuses? Or is this album a complete fluke? Well, only their next album can answer that question.
Another sidenote I’d like to add is that two of the three members of Infant Annihilator
are from another UK band called Mister Sister Fister
which (in my honest opinion) are absolute garbage. They play a similar style of slamming deathcore, but the quality and the texture of the music from Infant Annihilator
is far superior and makes Mister Sister Fister
look terrible. What I don’t find surprising however, is that Infant Annihilator
came second after Mister Sister Fister
which implies that they’re looking something a little different and The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is definitely a good start.
Another thing that separates Infant Annihilator
from the rest of the technical deathcore bands is the amount of slamming that goes on in The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
. This is pretty much the dead giveaway that tells the listener that brutal/slamming death is a major influential factor concerning the band’s sound. Now I don’t typically view the whole “brutal/slam” genre as anything else but one-dimensional and sterile, however, conjoining it with other genres essentially eliminates this issue. In this case, Infant Annihilator
have combined; deathcore, technical death and brutal death/slam into one amalgamated sound, and I must say, it’s awesome. You can easily pick up the general aesthetics of all three death metal subgenres (hey, deathcore is still one half death metal) in their sound without the band sounding like an experiment. What I think is the best thing about this, is that they’ve combined three genres, that many people describe as ; tasteless, barren and downright boring into something that isn’t, something that keeps the whole death metal atmosphere and is actually interesting. Not only is there brutal slamming death metal in The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
, but it’s played very well which is a rare occurrence in hybrid bands. This is where I think Mister Sister Fister
fails in comparison to Infant Annihilator
. The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
have somewhat given me an all new refreshed perspective on the brutal/death genre (whereas everything from Mister Sister Fister
has not) and I should be grateful.
The production of The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
, considering it’s a debut album from an internet band is amazing. I don’t know of many other bands that have put out such amazing debuts without any prior build up or experimentation by using EPs/demos (even though they did have help from their other project Mister Sister Fister
). Infant Annihilator
went from underground to the fast track towards mainstream in literally months (which is partly thanks to the beauty of digital networking and Promo
tion), and The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
sounds as professional as any mainstream band. The mixing and mastering is perfect, the recording is of high quality, instruments are in time and even the covert art looks great. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw Infant Annihilator
headlining a few shows here and there, and it’s all thanks to The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
. I think that a lot of effort must have been put in for the making of The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
, and Infant Annihilator
should be commended.
However The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is not all deathcore/brutal slam glory. Despite
what many say is the “perfect deathcore” album, there are flaws. Although these flaws are minuscule, when juxtaposed with a seemingly uniform background, their ripples have a large effect and their presence becomes even more evident. Remember earlier, I mentioned how the song writing didn’t really affect the band’s overall aesthetic or quality? Well, I guess I may have over hyperbolized that part a little, because the song writing can become quite erratic at times. Considering that this is technical/brutal deathcore, this is not really a problem. However, the transitioning between passages can get really annoying at times. Especially when they go from slow (but heavy) slams straight into blistering blast beats. The transition catches you completely by surprise, which can be a good thing when done in the correct context (such as building up to the end or climax of a track). But Infant Annihilator
just cannot make up their mind, one second their slamming and the next they’re brutalizing the ear drums. Although I did like it the first few times they did this on The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
, but this technique got old, really fast.
being said, although The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is an awesome in all it sets out to do. The fact that they’ve tried to go all out too fast for too long makes the music sound very bombastic. No matter how many layers or digital effects Infant Annihilator
has, their music lacks some serious scope. I think that The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is over produced with all the digital effects and editing it must have gone under. I would love to hear a raw version or rough mix of The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
, just to see whether or not the music would be better/worse without all the different layers.
The last thing I’d like to point out about The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is that, even though it’s a full length album which spans 16 tracks for just under 50 minutes, I cannot shake the feeling that it seems incomplete. I walked away from The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
still wanting a single moment or sliver that I could have taken with me. I don’t think it really achieved that, the breakdowns might have been better than average (but nothing spectacular), the song writing was pretty good (but nothing spectacular) and the atmosphere was ok (but once again, nothing spectacular). It seems like Infant Annihilator
just got your every day deathcore/brutal death band and have just loaded it with steroids. Although we might have a juggernaut on our hands, it doesn’t really saying anything about the actual power behind the music (it just looks powerful). Once
again, it’s the superficial approach Infant Annihilator
has towards their music which makes The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
seem like an incoherent swirling torrent of extreme deathcore. Luckily, I’m a huge fan of anything extreme, so superficial approaches from deathcore/technical/brutal death bands is nothing new to me.
Overall, The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is one brutal piece of deathcore. I’ve never seen an underground band receive so much hype prior to the release of this album (obviously many thanks to TD). I think, considering the intended audience for The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
, Infant Annihilator
have done an awesome job. These guys really have really hit target in terms of giving their audience something they haven’t quite heard before, well, I don’t think I’ve heard deathcore at this level of insanity. Although The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
is an awesome album which is great for deathcore/brutal death fans, it might lack appeal to fans from other genres. I don’t think a black metal or power metal fan would appreciate The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
as much as a deathcore fan, Infant Annihilator
is strictly an acquired taste. I know that Infant Annihilator
doesn’t take themselves seriously (if you don’t believe me, watch their cover to Pray for Plagues
by Bring me the Horizon
or even their video clip to Decapitation Fornication
) is it’s something that I admire about this band. They make music because they love making music, not to try and make money off it (although the money is a huge bonus for them). For people interested in exploring The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution
I recommend either Decapitation Fornication
or Cuntcrusher, but you could pretty much choose any track and get a good taste of what Infant Annihilator
is all about (unless you’re unlucky enough to click on an instrumental that is). All in all, Infant Annihilator
is one of those bands where their next album will make or break them and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them. I give The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution