Mental Cruelty have worked hard over the past few years to make a name for themselves in this music scene, and now, more and more you hear their name come up across social media. The band have managed to capture both a great fan base as well - and they've done it all with just a few singles and an EP. The patience of fans worldwide has more than paid off: in January of this year, Mental Cruelty finally released their debut full length record Purgatorium, and it has quickly become one of the most loved, respected, and downright fucking best records to come into our hands in a while now. Purgatorium gathers elements from all over the heavy metal spectrum - you'll find elements of death metal, slam, deathcore, and plenty of badass solos; put it all together and you've got an absolutely brutal collection of eight songs that will no doubt make the name Mental Cruelty an even more popular name and earn the band more respect than ever before. Prepare yourself: Purgatorium is hard-hitting brutal death that has the potential to redefine heavy music for you.
"Purgatorium Chapter I: The Rotting World Above" kicks off Purgatorium to the sound of a crackling fire and eerie tones before wailing guitars slowly build to the intense, pounding death metal sound you'll find all throughout the album. As soon as the vocals set in, you'll quickly come to learn just where this bands sound lays. With their chugging and crushing guitars, punishing drums and straight up vile slammy-vocals, Mental Cruelty breathes new life into their downtempo/deathcore sound. And rest assured, there's no shortage of breakdowns and slams; so for those of you like myself who love a mental fuckin' breakdown (no pun intended), Mental Cruelty do more than deliver on Purgatorium. "Father of Abomination" is one of the tracks the band teased prior to the albums release, and it is an absolutely perfect example of FILTH - it's almost hard to even explain just how intense this track is without hearing it. But let me put it this way, for this song, the band brought in two of the scene's most notorious vocalists (and two of my personal favorites) Duncan Bentley of Vulvodynia and Diogo Santana of Analepsy to guest spot, so you already know what you're in for. The band crushed it by putting these two on this track - it's a masterpiece of slamming deathcore everyone needs to hear. It's got some wild guitars and tons of dirty, dirty growls mixed with a breakdown so vile, so punishing that you will want to just destroy every single thing around you. The second half of the song... goddamn. If you only check out one song off Purgatorium, make this one it.
The heavy doesn't stop there! Tracks like "The Incantation Of Human Annihilation" (which has the best opening to a song) and "Vicarius Filii Dei" continue to deliver the same intense beatdown that the album has to offer. Some metal fans like to try and wrap a bands sound up into neat little boxes, but Mental Cruelty definitely shatter any borders set up by other bands by putting the heaviest and brutal sounds together. Purgatorium is packed with a whole lot of punch as the band brings in two additional guest spots: you'll find Ben Mason of Bound in Fear on "The Venerable One" as well as Daniel Burris of Gamma Sector on "Immortalising Purgatory." It is with these sick guest spots that it truly feels Mental Cruelty wanted to deliver an album they themselves would want to listen to; they clearly knew the sound they wanted to go for - as its the same sound that we all have been dying to hear - and they went for it. I can honestly say there's no boring, lackluster second on this entire record; check out "Purgatorium Chapter II: The Rise of the Antichrist" and it won't take you long to see what I mean. It's got some of the best melodic yet crushing guitars we've heard on a track this year, and an absolutely wild solo that you truly wish would just go on for fucking ever, that is, until you hear the downright damning deathcore that follows just moments afterwards.
Purgatorium has been out for a while now, and its safe to say that this isn't your typical every day album - there really are some true gems on this record that I can only hope will bring Mental Cruelty the love from the scene that they deserve. Purgatorium is an absolute force to be reckoned with, and easily one of the best overall albums I've heard in a minute now. Anybody can write a heavy as fuck record, but to take that sound and blend so much chaotic brutality into it is something that not every band can accomplish without listeners calling it "generic deathcore." Purgatorium is beyond generic anything - and it is one of few records I am going to tell you that you NEED to listen to.
Check out Purgatorium in its entirety in the video below, thanks to Slam Worldwide! If you dig what you're hearing, check out the band on Facebook or their merch stores here and here!