The Book of Lambs

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The influence of Morbid Angel upon the metal underground is almost staggering in its scope, with many followers copying the barely controlled, chaotic riffing of guitarist Trey Azagthoth and the inhuman drumming of Pete Sandoval. That being said, Internecine is essentially the solo project of Jared Anderson, also a member of vicious Morbid Angel revisionists Hate Eternal (which is fronted by former Morbid Angel guitarist Erik Rutan); Anderson even filled Morbid Angel's vacant singer/bassist slot for a few tours. With so much inbreeding going on (so to speak), it's no surprise that The Book of Lambs is shot from the same uncompromising vein as the aforementioned projects and is produced by Rutan, unleashing eight tracks of solid and convincing, if interchangeable, death metal (and one track of silly, death vocal chanting). Abrupt tempo shifts, skull-pasting speed, and perennially busy riffing make for an impressive listen at first, before the derivative songwriting makes one yearn for the relatively experimental virtues of Nile, Hypocrisy, and latter-day Morbid Angel -- or even the more memorable arrangements of Hate Eternal. Still, death metal traditionalists will appreciate The Book of Lambs' tireless energy, ranking above the tire-spinning Satan-o-blasting of Krisiun and Incantation, even if it leaves more selective listeners cold and proves that American death metal may have reached its creative saturation point.

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