Mallika Sundaramurthy: Vocals
Jeremy Henry: Guitar
Sam Kirsch: Guitar
Josh Staples: Bass
Jay Blaisdell: Drums
Sociopathic Constructs serves to further cement Abnormality's place at the cutting edge of savage ultra-technical death metal. With the follow up to 2016's Mechanisms Of Omniscience, the Marlborough, Massachusetts quintet have stepped up their game across the board, making for a record that is as violent, complex and thought provoking as any you will hear in 2019, and the band were not afraid to explore and mix things up. "I think this record we felt free enough to just go where we wanted to within a song," states guitarist Jeremy Henry. "We had no qualms with switching styles and approaches from riff to riff. To have a whole section grinding away and then just switch gears, hit the brakes and drop a slow, old school Morbid Angel warship groove in there. We felt free to follow our instincts, and just let our influences shine through."
With Mechanisms of Omniscience opening the door for the band to tour with Suffocation, Napalm Death, The Black Dahlia Murder, Pig Destroyer, and Misery Index, their profile has risen dramatically between records. "We learned so much from the past few years of touring, including how to handle adversity. In turn, we have matured and grown as musicians and people," declares vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy. However, the writing did not stop, with drummer/lyricist Jay Blaisdell penning lyrics for the album's successor almost as soon as it was finished, never struggling to find inspiration. "With a lot of lyrics already written, the structures of a lot of songs were written into them. We've done that before but not as much as we did on this record, and I think it really paid off this time around," says Blaisdell. The glorious, attacking-from-all-fronts near-chaos of their song structures is a hallmark of the band, switching up tempos and timings, unleashing dizzying riffs and pushing things to their extremes throughout, never letting the listener get too comfortable, yet never losing hold of that core vision that holds everything together. Only brief, eerie interlude "Aeternum" lets the listener off the hook, the remainder of the record an all out assault, but one with a great deal of variety. "A Seething Perversion", for instance, opens with a monstrous, stabbing groove that perfectly plays off against the more rampant violence surrounding it, while a militaristic feel creeps into passages of "Kakistocracy", and a droning evil works into the closing passages of "Curb Stomp", each track having a strong individual identity. The decimating vocals of Sundaramurthy also make for an integral facet - her monstrous roar the perfect accompaniment to music so merciless - and the solos that scythe through the tumult are a large part of what makes the record so compelling, with no parts included for the sake of it.
When it comes to finding lyrical inspiration, Blaisdell and Sundaramurthy never have to look far. "The world we live in is a fucking mental hospital. The true nature of our reality is something that I'm obsessed with, so it will always come out in my lyrics," Blaisdell says, asserting that the title itself stems from the ability to read between the lines and decipher the information that is fed to us daily as "truth". "It's about a constant search for what is real and what is disinformation. It's about realizing that many of our leaders, the people in power, are actually sociopaths. It's essentially referencing the many twisted and immoral acts that have been carried out and painted as something completely different. Most of the songs are individual stories that fit within this overarching theme." Disseminating the news and whatever lurks behind it sees the lyrics go in numerous directions, with "Monarch Alpha" in fact a sequel to "Monarch Omega" from their debut full-length Contaminating the Hive Mind (2012), both songs about MK Ultra, or the concept of mind control being used to create assassins. "The former dealt more with trauma-induced mind control, 'Monarch Alpha' is essentially about the next step up in the program. It's the more technically evolved, much scarier version of creating assassins." Following a different tangent, Blaisdell stresses that "A Catastrophic And Catalyzing Event" is a song he has always wanted to write, and is essentially his own personal theory of what really happened on September 11th 2001. "Back in 2005 I accidentally saw a video online that instantly convinced me that the official story of 9/11 is a lie. It was a huge awakening for me. My outrage and shock led me down a never-ending pursuit for the truth. It took me roughly six or seven years before I could figure out my own theory of how it actually went down, based on what I know did and didn't happen. And it was something that I needed to do for my own personal sanity."
The album was tracked primarily at The Brick HitHouse in Hyannis, Massachusetts with producers Peter Rutcho (Revocation, Soul Remnants) and Shane Frisby (Becoming The Archetype, Bury Your Dead) with vocals produced by Zdenek Sikyr at Studio Hostivar in Prague. Having worked with Rutcho since 2010, it was a painless, professional process, the band also bringing in Chaney Crabb of Entheos to add a guest vocal to the devastating "Penance". "'Sociopathic Constructs' is the result of tons of hard work and shows the progress we have made as a band since 'Mechanisms'," asserts Sundaramurthy. "We feel the time is now for such an album, the brutality perfectly reflects the darkness, violence, and harsh reality of our world."