2006, Prime Cuts
Pathogen’s debut Bloodline is an impressive hour of controlled, grooving, melodic death/thrash that begs comparisons to everyone from Carcass (Heartwork-era, mostly) to Dark Tranquillity or In Flames. This Australian quintet craft their music around driving yet simple riffs, a raw-throated, searing vocal delivery and well-placed acoustic interludes. Every song is incredibly easy to listen to and absorb, yet with the overall length of the album and the fact that a number of the tracks reach into the eight-minute range, cursory listens will not uncover all of Pathogen’s nuances and clever tricks.
Though Bloodline feels like an album that’s been written mostly by the numbers, everything from the recording quality to the execution and songwriting shows that the band know exactly how to use those numbers to their advantage. You simply don’t hear melodies as compelling as on “Fallen Kind” on every melodic death metal album, and most bands couldn’t forge a balance between sounding epic and heavy the way Pathogen does on “Shallow” and “Tyranny of Hatred.” Similarly, those groups that do have the aforementioned abilities probably would have trouble uncorking the pure whoop-ass present in “Eviscerated.” Bloodline is a bold and impressive debut that definitely should put Pathogen on your list of bands to check out.