Music / Abnormality
Abnormality is an American brutal death metal band. Having originally gained exposure by way of having one of their songs as a Rock Band bonus track, they have gradually worked their way to the top of the Northeastern death metal game and become a major force in the genre as a whole.
Formed in late 2005 by Mallika Sundaramurthy (vocals), Michael O'Meara (guitars, bass), and Jay Blaisdell (drums) after Mallika joined in for an impromptu live performance of the Sepultura classic "Desperate Cry" with the band Teratism, the band quickly added Jeremy Henry (rhythm guitar) and the original lineup was born, and with the buzz they soon attracted, Teratism quickly folded and Abnormality became the main band. A demo was released in 2007 after quite a few live shows, gathering even more buzz, but 2008 proved to be their breakout year. That was, after all, the year when Rock Band 2 was released, and "Visions" just so happened to be one of the included songs as per the standard "Harmonix staff band bonus tracks" tradition, as Mallika was part of the art team at that time. That year also saw the brief presence of Shawn MacDonald on bass, though he did not stay long and was replaced in 2009 by Josh Staples. More shows followed, and 2010 brought with it three things: the departure of O'Meara, the introduction of a dedicated lead guitarist by the name of Ben Durgin, and the writing, recording, and release of a new EP. The Collective Calm in Mortal Oblivion
made a big impression on the local scene, and they immediately started writing for a full-length, which they recorded in 2011 but held off on releasing while they label-shopped, though a deal with Sevared Records was inked sometime after and Contaminating the Hive Mind
was released in 2012 to much critical acclaim, with a whirlwind of shows and fest appearances following it that has, among other things, led to an appearance at the Bogota Grind Death Fest. A new album is also in the works, though the release date is still up in the air; with the amount of buzz they've gotten, however, things aren't looking bad for them. As of November 2014, Ben Durgin has left; Sam Kirsch was announced as Durgin's replacement as of April 2015, and as of October of 2015, they have officially been signed to Metal Blade Records and are currently recording a new album for a 2016 release.
- 2007 Demo
- The Collective Calm in Mortal Oblivion (2010) - EP
- Contaminating the Hive Mind (2012)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Bald of Awesome: Jeremy and Jay.
- Brutal Death Metal
- Creative Differences: Ben left because he was getting burned out on death metal and presumably wanted to go back to playing power metal. The band made a point of stating that there was absolutely no bad blood between either party and that they were completely okay with it.
- Lead Bassist: Josh Staples is a Type A.
- Loudness War: Contaminating the Hive Mind has big problems with this as is par for the course with modern death metal.
- Metal Scream: Mallika uses a fairly deep roar for the most part, and it's deep enough that you generally won't figure out that the vocals are performed by a woman until you're told or you find out on your own.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Hard 10 for their demo material, solid 10 for everything after it.
- New Sound Album: Calm was more melodic, had longer, more complex arrangements, and was far more controlled and deliberate than the spastic, grindy material on the demo.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: "Taste of Despair"
- Protest Song: Their main lyrical theme.
- Rapunzel Hair: Staples, to the point where it's achieved near-legendary status in the New England metal scene.
- Signature Style: Lots of nimble stop-start riffs and shifting time signatures, vocals that are mostly a lower-mid-range roar along with sparsely-placed highs, the occasional mosh break or Morbid Angel-y atmospheric passage, and complex, melodic soloing with subtle but noticeable chiptune influences.
- Special Guest: Matti Way guested on the title track of Contaminating.
- Technical Death Metal: Borders on it at times.
- Uncommon Time: Very, very often.