Review by Michael on April 11, 2021.
To go into the history of Massacre would go beyond the scope of this review and probably end up in a death metal soap opera. So, let's leave that at this point and note that with Inhuman Condition, named after Massacre's 1992 EP, a quasi-successor band is at the start and Rat God will be their debut album, which will be released on June 4 via Listenable Insanity Records on CD (and on August 6 on Black Serpent Records on vinyl). On board are: Massacre founding member Terry Butler (also Obituary, ex-Death, among others), Jeramie Kling (Venom Inc., Goregäng, The Absence) and Taylor Nordberg (Goregäng, The Absence). In addition, Rick Rozz (Ex-Massacre, Ex-Death) contributed a few guitar solos and Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse) lyrics and a few vocal parts on the title track.
Musically, Inhuman Condition offer solid death metal, often reminiscent of the aforementioned Massacre or even older Death from the "Leprosy" / "Spiritual Healing" era and the vocals let memories of "From Beyond" awake in parts. While the first two songs are rippling still a bit they are over pretty quickly but then 'Planetary Paroxysm' offers a Death-like riff as an introduction and the song quickly turns into a pretty casual mid-tempo stomper, which is repeatedly interrupted by fast riffs. 'Killing Pace' is one of the highlights of the album. This is a pretty cool groovy song that is very catchy and strongly reminiscent of Massacre. 'Tyrantula' starts with an almost shamanic intro, spreads a threatening atmosphere but picks up speed in the course of the song and offers the listener some pretty sick guitar solos. 'Rat God' is again a mid-tempo stomper, which could also have been on "From Beyond". Paul Mazurkiewicz has contributed few guest vocals here as already mentioned. Also the last two tracks offer solid fare, some Death here, some Massacre there, also worth listening to.
Production-wise there is nothing to complain about on Rat God. Every instrument sounds clean and the vocals punchy, just the way a good death metal record should sound.
The cover, which was designed by Dan Goldsworthy (Accept, Cradle of Filth, Xentrix), also deserves a positive mention. It is very detailed and lovingly designed and will be certainly a pretty cool eye-catcher as a LP!
In my opinion, Inhuman Condition have managed to create a quite impressive debut, which cannot necessarily take on Massacre's "From Beyond", but is still a lot better than the rather bland 2014 "Back From Beyond". Rat God could well be a contender for the top 10 albums of 2021!
Rating: 9.1 out of 10 rats480