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)
- Mechanisms of Omniscience (2016)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Mallika is known for being one of the few female vocalists in death metal and also for being one of the more famous women in metal as a whole. She's also quite famous for jumping offstage to start or participate in pits when given the chance.
- Bald of Awesome: Jeremy and Jay.
- Brutal Death Metal
- Epic Rocking: "Vigilant Ignorance" barely qualifies at 6:01.
- False Flag Operation: "Fabrication Of The Enemy" refers to these having been staged throughout the course of history as a mechanism of control.
- Hollywood New England: Formed in Central Mass, and Staples is a well-known figure in the regional scene (go to a metal or punk show at Ralph's Rock Diner and you'll probably see him running the house soundtrack) who is famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) for his extremely heavy Massachusetts accent.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The government agents in the "Mechanisms of Omniscience" video use this on their captive.
- Lead Bassist: Josh Staples is a Type A and a Type C, as he is known for both his technical ability and his status within both the New England and Quebec metal scenes.
- Lead Drummer: Jay Blaisdell cowrites lyrics with Mallika.
- Loudness War: Contaminating the Hive Mind has big problems with this as is par for the course with modern death metal.
- Manchurian Agent: "Monarch Omega" and its music video are set from the perspective of one, through her programming, her deployment on an assassination mission, and ultimately, her suicide.
- Metal Scream: Mallika is a Type 2.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Hard 10 for their demo material, solid 10 for everything after it.
- Mushroom Samba: "Cymatic Hallucinations".
- New Sound Album: Two:
- Calm was more melodic, had longer, more complex arrangements, and was far more controlled and deliberate than the spastic, grindy material on the demo.
- Mechanisms of Omniscience is less overtly technical than the oft-labyrinthine Contaminating and focuses more heavily on groove.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: "Taste of Despair"
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Mallika, Jeremy, and Josh.
- Protest Song: Their main lyrical theme.
- The Quiet One: Jay. Even if you're his friend, you will not get too many words out of the man.
- Rapunzel Hair: Staples, to the point where it's achieved near-legendary status in the New England metal scene. Mallika and Sam also have fairly long hair.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Mallika's deep roar stands in stark contrast to her rather high speaking voice.
- Special Guest: Matti Way guested on the title track of Contaminating, while Noah Shephard (Lody Kong) served as an emergency bass fill-in on their spring 2016 tour with Soulfly and Suffocation after Staples fell ill and wound up having to go home early.
- Technical Death Metal: Borders on it at times.
- Uncommon Time: Very, very often.