If you fondly recall the heady days of death metal’s initial ascendancy and are still in love with the likes of Pestilence’s Consuming Impulse, Morbid Angel’s Altars of Madness, Death’s Spiritual Healing, Necrophagia’s Season Of The Dead and, most importantly, Massacre’s From Beyond then Inhuman Condition’s Rat°God will be manna from heaven for both you and legions of devoted old-school death metallers the world over. None of the aforementioned will come as a surprise when you discover that Inhuman Condition is the brainchild of underground death metal legend Terry Butler, he who has plied his trade in the elite of death metal bands over the years, including stints in Death, Obituary, Six Feet Under and Massacre.
In case you weren’t already aware, Inhuman Condition was the name of Massacre’s 1992 EP (and follow up to debut album From Beyond) and Rat°God simply picks up where those seminal releases left off. No fucking around, Rat°God sounds like its been beamed in from the late 80’s and is a Massacre album in all but name, fully capturing the essence of late 80s / early 90s neanderthal death metal in all its glory. Rat°God sounds positively quaint when compared to the slew of extreme death and grind albums of the modern age with “The Next Step” recalling Six Feet Under at their most basic and barbaric (never a bad thing in our book) but that, we would wager, is the whole point of this exercise!
There’s nothing to be found here that wasn’t perfected in the 80’s so the thrill comes from the sheer 100% commitment to old-school death metal that this trio perfectly encapsulate.
Mid-paced groove, thrashy riffs, endless chug, throaty yet audible vocals; it’s all so wistfully evocative that you’ll be left longing for your misspent youth and yearning for simpler times. Of course, no matter what middle age spread may have done to you, you could simply crack open a beer, bang that head and allow Rat°God to pour nostalgia down your throat like the last 30 years didn’t pass by in a flash.
When you need a welcome break from being assaulted by today’s overly technical material, have a listen to Rat°God and remind yourself exactly why real old-school death metal remains so thrillingly effective when played with this much conviction! 7/10
Released on June 4th 2021 via Listenable Insanity Records