Odious Mortem - Synesthesia
Technical Death Metal
10 songs (37:57)
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Goat

A mere thirteen years after their previous full-length, San Francisco-based tech-deathsters Odious Mortem ("smelly death"?) are back with another platter o'splatter, just their third since forming in 1998. And with a title meaning a sensory phenomenon related around the seeing of sounds, you'd be forgiven for expecting an especially colourful exploration of death metal territory. Synesthesia doesn't quite manage this, or indeed anything that pushes the death metal boundaries but it is a more than solid tech-death album, skilful in instrumental if not always songwriting terms, bearing a swagger entirely deserved as it progresses through the tight sub-forty minute playing time. Strident and powerful, the sound is driven as much by the drums as the guitars which can be attributed to drummer KC Howard also providing guitars alongside fellow ex-Decrepit Birther Dan Eggers, the duo forming a partnership that makes up much of the responsibility for Synesthesia being as solid as it is.

It's certainly one of the more aggressive tech-death albums out there, bursting forward stridently on the likes of Condemnation Foretold like a sped-up Suffocation, unrelenting bursts of riffage and some melodic soloing contrasting with the second half of the track's increase in speed and brutality. Drummer KC gets an especial chance to show off on the nicely percussive Ruins of the Timeworn, and although there aren't enormous differences between songs you can contrast the likes of the dense, intense Replenish the Earth with the almost melodic death vibe to Eagle's Tower. Cave Dweller has a bit more bluntness to its assault, Spirit Hole is a little faster... all are good, solid death metal pounders. Instrumental Synchronicity stands out thanks to being more neoclassically melodic than its surrounding tracks and obviously for lacking the sometimes monotonous growls of vocalist Anthony Trapani, but it's not a highlight even so. None of the songs here are particularly memorable in the way that other bands of the style like Gorod or even Immolation can manage, but this is still impressively technical music that fans of the style will enjoy greatly, and a more than solid comeback effort from Odious Mortem.

Killing Songs :
Condemnation Foretold, Eagle's Tower
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Odious Mortem that we have reviewed:
Odious Mortem - Cryptic Implosion reviewed by Kyle and quoted 81 / 100
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