Wretched – Cannibal (2014)
Review by Jude Felton
Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Cannibal is the fourth album from a band that likes to mix up their sound; judging from this album, anyway. This is my first exposure to the band, and I have to say that I like what I hear. Some albums just hit that spot, and this is one of them.
Musically speaking, Cannibal blends technical death metal, thrash and just a wee dose of death core, and you could be forgiven for thinking that this might be a bit too much. Fortunately, it all works incredibly well and considering that Cannibal is only about 45 minutes in duration the band manage to fit a hell of a lot in, without any of it feeling forced.
The overriding sound on Cannibal is that of the tech-death variety, although it never comes across as overly complicated, and plays perfectly into the structure of each song. Personally speaking, how well an album sits with me is how well each song, not only plays on its own, but also in context with the rest of the album. On Cannibal there is a definite flow to proceedings and an identity to each song.
Cannibal will take you through crunching death metal, with some great vocals from Adam Cody, through to more melodic instrumental moments, and then onto some more complex sections. The fact that the band has managed to make all of it gel so well is a testament to the band’s song writing skills.
You may well hear the influence of other bands, here and there, and there’s nothing wrong with that, just as long as the band hold on to their own sound as well. Wretched manage to achieve that in spades, and truthfully the 45 minutes seem to fly by. I’m sure that they could have taken a far more self-indulgent route and stretched Cannibal out by at least another 20 minutes, but what we have is a tight and perfectly rounded album.
Next up for me is to see how this translates in a live setting, which is something I hope to do this summer, when Wretched hit the road on the Mayhem Fest. In the meantime, they have delivered an album that delivers some very good songs, yet one that works best as a whole.
Cannibal is released by Victory Records and is available now.