Clench your fists and get that circle pit ready, ‘cause Assimilation are in town. Innovating within a genre traditionally lacking innovation, these British Columbia boys are on the prowl for severed heads and crushed skulls! Just kidding, these are some pretty nice dudes; their music is pretty scary, though.
For the uninitiated, the death/thrash archetype of metal sonics, titled due to its place of division between death metal and thrash metal, is simply brutality in the truest form. Bands falling within such a category will make you ill, cause blood to drip from your ears, and simply put, their music is just really abrasive. Luckily for us, when a friend is describing a metal band’s sound using abhorrently negative adjectives, that’s a recommendation. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Originally released back in March of 2017, The Laws of Power has been somewhat of a sleeper hit within the realm of screaming sonics. Unfortunately, due to the country’s size and territorial demographics, Canada is a tough region to be when trying to kickstart a band. This difficulty is especially pertinent in Assimilation’s case, as the Canadian West coast is a couple thousand kilometers away from the country’s metal hotspot of Montreal, Quebec. In British Columbia’s case, your options as a small band are to head East towards sleepy Calgary, or down across the border into Seattle. Regardless, Assimilation owe their band’s career to passion and persistence, as things can be tough out there.
In differing fashion from most death/thrash albums, The Laws of Power revolves mainly around lyrical themes, both in terms of written content and sonic qualities. While Assimilation certainly know how to make a room shake, you’ll find that their tracks often draw down to a rumbling crawl, at least in comparison to contemporary outfits. These knuckle dragging sections, such as the title track’s chorus riff, or the crushing patterned intro of “Sigil of the False God,” all ooze Assimilation’s power-hungry nature.
Guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Jesse Jardine based the album on a multitude of social coaching books, to the likes of The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery. Naturally, the lyrics found throughout the release are based upon corruption, the social ladder, and the relationship between strength and weakness. Don’t worry, this isn’t some Red Pill conspiracy. For Assimilation, its all about becoming your own Übermensch within a world constantly looking for an opportunity to crush you to smithereens.
From an objective standpoint, The Laws of Power is simply an eclectically-coherent album. This certainly isn’t your one-trick-pony. You’ve got a crushing intro track which makes way for the more standalone numbers that follow, there’s some speedier stuff, some slower, more technical jargon, and even a jumpier instrumental track. Many of the old-school death/thrash albums from the ‘80s suffer a polar fate, as they often allure listeners through a handful of blistering numbers, but fail to retain due to a lack of variety. In contrary fashion, Assimilation seem to have kept that retro ‘80s full frontal assault, albeit with an incorporation of strong album-centric qualities to make The Laws of Power feel like more than just a collection of tracks.
Recommended if you like: Old-school death metal, the act of decapitating heads, Autopsy, Demolition Hammer.