rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Fallen In Fear
02. The Unseen
03. Cannibalised
04. Breathing Silence
05. Predatory
06. Slow The Poison
07. Consumed
08. Reborn In Damnation
09. Through Hatred Arise
10. Violent Descent

Devin Townsend may have the title of metal's madcapped genius all to himself as it pertains to North American territory, but cross the pond and he's got to share that honor with one Mr. John K. Perhaps the most sonically progressive album to come out of the United Kingdom in some time, "Cannibalised" sees the cybernetic mayhem of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD (minus the random injections of Townsend's sardonic comedy) collide with the groove-laden urgency of PANTERA's "Far Beyond Driven" and a traceable element of traditional metal. Said concoction is then given a large dose of "WHAT THE FUCK?!?" before driven head first into the insane asylum. The end result, as you can well imagine, is quite classic.

"Cannibalised" opens with a trio of tunes that I'm almost sure are placed at the beginning to weed out the weak; leaving the rest of the album for only those insane enough to soak in the initial battery. Of those three, "Fallen In Fear" and "The Unseen" serve as the album's most devastating tunes. The former coming across somewhat like an amphetamine-fueled and demonic nod to JUDAS PRIEST's "Painkiller", while the latter comes strong with the aforementioned PANTERA influence. More frantic than both songs combined, the title track delivers dizzying, technical bursts of speed and a massive, fist-pounding chorus. At this point, there has been no variation from the over-distorted, buzzsaw tone of the guitars, nor has there been a single inch of breathing room provided. This is where the decidedly more subdued "Breathing Silence" steps in to give your eardrums a bit of a rest. Although a good portion of the song is played on clean guitars, there's an impassioned sense of dementia building up in John K's vocals that explodes into the songs heavier parts; keeping even the most mellow moments on par with the rest of the disc. Other heavy-hitters such as "Predatory" and "Slow The Poison" stand out as solid efforts too, but rely too heavily on the same bag of tricks the band already reached into during the first few songs. Giving the disc an almost Danny Elfman-like vibe, the overly-theatrical and very deranged orchestral-metal of "Consumed" and "Through Hatred Arise" show BIOMECHANICAL and John K to be among the next wave of metal's innovators.

While a publicized blow-out between John K and the rest of the band left the singer the sole member of BIOMECHANICAL for a short time, a new line-up is in tact and will soon be destroying senses in the live setting. "Cannibalised" is not a disc you want to put for your daily dose of listening enjoyment. Material steeped in this level of chaos and schizophrenia need to be reserved for those times when life has driven you to the point of making one of two choices; crank up the stereo or go on a killing spree. Be warned though, taking the first option could very well lead to the second.

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