The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution , the debut full-length release by Spain’s Virulency, sounds like a chaotic nightmare (in the best way possible) compared to the early albums in the death metal genre. Virulency employ inhaled vocals (often called “pig squeals”) and fretless bass guitars in order to create a more extreme sound in their particular niche. The main portion of the music, i.e. the drums and guitars, are fairly standard for brutal death, with crushing, heavy riffs accompanied by blasting drums. There are plenty of changes in time signature, creating a dizzying, unsettling effect, enhanced greatly by the serpentine bass lines that slide up and down the fretboard. It’s pretty effective most of the time, but can be a bit distracting when the band goes into a slamming breakdown. Vocally, Virulency mix the pig squeals with a distorted, guttural sound similar to Swedish goregrind titans Regurgitate. Again, this works most of the time, but can be a bit distracting, particularly since each track has what sounds like a vomiting and belching bullfrog constantly sounding off.
Production-wise, The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution is pretty well mixed, though the fretless bass gets a little too much of a boost at times. The last minute of “Sculptured Didelphic Uterus” ends the album on an eerie industrial metal note, with electronic drums, sound clips, and heavily processed electric guitars. Virulency show a lot of promise, and with just a couple of tweaks could really be a force to be reckoned with in the brutal death category.