These US Death Metallers’ debut album, “Infecting The Soul”, was one of the very first albums I had to review for this site, and I still remember being quite fond of their meat-and-potatoes brand of traditional Death Metal. I was thus relishing the chance to hear what they’ve been up to since the release of said album in 2006, and seeing as how this has been a pretty neat year for Death Metal with CANNIBAL CORPSE, ASPHYX, VOMITORY and a host of others releasing truly kick ass albums, I expected nothing less than another proper assault on the senses from the lads in WHORRID.
Well, mission not accomplished, as “Time Heals Nothing” provided me with a girly poke instead of the gargantuan savagery I was expecting. The old school Death vibe is still in full swing here, as is the slight Thrash tendency or two, but on the whole this album lacks a lot of the vibrancy and focus that its predecessor had. Opening track “Infecting The Soul” gets things off to a decent start – that VOIVODian main riff and the tasty bass twiddling get right in your face from the get-go and the track has a cool sense of confidence to it – but things take a turn for the bland as soon as “Pain Within” kicks in, at which point the tempo is dropped a great deal and the riffs seem to repeat themselves once too often. “American Graveyard” sounds like an OBITUARY B-side, and “Evil Thoughts” is a painful demonstration in cluttered song writing. This melange of dirge-like riffing and jumbled ideas ruin the middle part of the album, but luckily songs like “Loving Memory” and “Left For Dead” manage to attain a sense of focus just before the album fizzles out amidst the pointless industrial beats of “Lap Dance”. The two abovementioned tracks are easily the best on offer here, and ironically also the ones that see the band dip their toes in more demure territory, as clean vocals and more emotive guitar work enter the fold to break up the noisy Death Metal din of the preceding few songs. The three instrumentals also don’t help matters much as they are all pretty disposable, though it must be said that the acoustic breeze of “Worst Of Times” is not bad at all.
It’s hard for me to really badmouth the album since nothing on here actually ranks as pure shite; large portions of if simply comes off as either pointless or half-baked. I give the band kudos for still rocking out in that vintage Death Metal vein (think of a three-way between old school OBITUARY, NOCTURNUS and AUTOPSY), and the way in which they incorporate subtle acoustic and almost alternative Rock-sounding clean passages into the songs without making it all sound plain silly is commendable. They proudly wear their influences on their sleeve but it wouldn’t hurt if a few more choice riffs and a generally more compact style of song construction had made its way into the studio.
(Online August 20, 2009)