EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT — Beheaded by Volition (review)

EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT — Beheaded by Volition album cover EP · 2003 · Brutal Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Following in the footsteps of brutal death metal bands such as Suffocation and Malignancy, the Willits, CA based EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT has been around for over a decade and released a few albums. In a crowded sector of the metal universe, this band has managed to play alongside some of the greats such as Carcass, Possessed, Cattle Decapitation, Disgorge and Atheist just to name a few.

The band formed in 2003 and released this debut EP titled BEHEADED BY VOLITION the same year. It consists of five tracks and only runs for almost 17 minutes but packs an intense labyrinthine death metal journey in that short time. While much of brutal death metal can sound rather similar, it’s important to listen carefully for how the music was constructed and EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT despite firing on full speed do craft some interesting idiosyncrasies.

This death metal is brutal for sure but it also has traces of grindcore as well as slight elements of black metal. Despite incessant speed that implements balls to the wall guitar riffage, bass punishment, blastbeat drumming and the expected guttural death growls, the music is surprisingly melodic underneath the chaotic din although far too extreme for those not accustomed to the most extreme death metal sounds.

While the title track may sound slightly cliche as if you haven’t heard this before the saving grace of this EP is that the tracks do distinguish themselves from each other which isn’t always the case in brutal death metal. There are vocal tradeoffs of deep guttural growls and higher register shrieks and also some Morbid Angel styled old school death metal techniques in “Demon In The Sea” which display a marching riff delivery as well as those signature squealing solos.

Overall, this isn’t the most original death metal album even within the band’s own discography but a decent debut that’s a pleasure to bang my head to. Tight instrumental interplay that checks off all the death metal traits and delivers an extra dosage of aggressive fury. To top it off the production is really good unlike some of the muddier examples of the past. It’s clear yet not over-polished as to diminish the brutal rawness. While not as technically adept as bands like Suffocation, this isn’t a bad listen at all.
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