19 Nov 2013

Mind Affliction - Pathetic Humanity [Full length] (2013, Metal Scrap Records)

Poland is the home of several well-known, and even more less known, metal acts, and if there's anything I've learned from previous reviews it is that new bands from Poland show a remarkably high level of musicianship and production values. Mind Affliction hail from Cracow, one of Poland's oldest cities, and originally emerged in 2009, before releasing their first demo "Mental Disorder" in 2011. In early 2013 they released their first album "Pathetic Humanity" through Metal Scrap Records, with the tracks Mental and Vishe returning in some form from the demo.

It seems like there are enough blackened death metal bands from Poland to form up a full fledged wave, a New Wave of Polish Black Death Metal if you will, or at the very least this is a strong tendency among the good people of Poland. Like many of the bands I have previously had the pleasure of reviewing, including Sphere, Ragehammer, Embrional and Stillborn, Mind Affliction delivers about 40 minutes of death metal behind a thick veil of black metal, neatly intertwining the two genres. With a few ups and downs in terms of tempo, it's still safe to say that what makes up the majority of the music on Pathetic Humanity is deathly guitar riffs with dual vocals on top of a layer high speed drumming with little to no bullshit going on.

It's a time tested recipe, but it leaves little room for surprise, and on more than one occation we find the band delving into the same riff for prolonged periods of time, which really breaks up the otherwise good flow of the album. Especially in Mental and Human Centipede, two of the earliest tracks on the debut, do they drag out the progress of the songs with one simple riff. All of the tracks apart from the intro are in excess of 5 minutes in length, so it's not even like they need to drag things out to this point.

Pathetic Humanity has a nice, thick production with drum sound that packs a LOT of punch, but for the riffs to truly come to their right they could benefit from a more crispy production. There's lots of brutality in the simplicity of riffs, and everything works well as a whole, even if the end result isn't one that is particularly memorable. The Polish band shows a flair for variety with tracks like the groovy and melodic piece Druga Strona Umyslu and the sinister track Vishe II, which still leaves room for fresh melodies. But in the end it's the fact that there are barely any hooks or anything to distinguish Pathetic Humanity by that steers it towards a 6/10 rating.

1. Intro
2. Human Centipede
3. Mental
4. Vishe I
5. Druga Strona Umyslu
6. Vishe II
7. Lithium

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