Audio Autopsy – March 2010

Audio Autopsy – March 2010

01/03/10  ||  Global Domination

Ihsahn: After Ihsahn: After


Lord K: I was never a huge fan of Emperor though I
know musical talent when I see/hear it. Ihsahn’s definitely a talented
guy, he’s just not creating music that speaks to me on the levels I wish
it would. Still, a solid release that is competent in each and every
area. 6

Kampfar: Ihsahn might never top what he did in
Emperor but, and I never thought I’d say this, his avant-garde take on
metal is finally starting to make proper sense. Not everyone will agree
to that, obviously, but all of you should nonetheless check out the song
named “A grave inversed”. It’s fucking fantastic. 8

Trauma: I love(d) Emperor, and I definitely like
Ihsahn’s solo work. “angL” grew on me pretty quickly, and to say I
looked forward to hearing this was a bit of an understatement. It’s not
quite as good as I was hoping it’d be, but still, lots of good stuff to
be found. Also, he found a new toy to play with: Saxophone. All he needs
is a xylophone and triangle and he’ll have some of the most
eclectic/awesome music ever. 7

CadenZ: Introvert? Absolutely not, definitely a lot less than on the previous two albums. “After” is some absolutely marvelous progressive
metal, in all the good aspects of the word. I’ve had my doubts on
Ihsahn’s continued prowess as a song-writer ever since the last Emperor
album was released, but this is a great reminder of his excellence. A
feisty saxophone solo on top of a down-tuned and harsh death metal riff
with double kicks – how awesome isn’t that? 9

Earthmonger (guest): I didn’t go into it expecting
to like it. Ihsahn’s first release (“The Adversary”) was decent, while
his second (“angL”) was only passable and not all that memorable. And
more often than not, when a band goes heavily into prog territory, they
become complete and utter shit (Hello Opeth, Enslaved). I wasn’t
expecting too much from the third and last in Ihsahn’s planned trilogy,
“After”. I was wrong, this is a pretty strong album. And saxophone?
Well, it works here. There is however zero justification for the
“extreme” labeling here: this is some tame shit, but tame shit I ended
up enjoying. Eat me. I bought it. Deluxe Ed, even. One point taken away
for limp bass representation. 7

Urgehal: Ikonoklast Urgehal: Ikonoklast


Lord K: I shouldn’t like this, but to some extent I
do. Black metal with a suitable production and the occasional catchy
riff. They are no Watain, but Urgehal is probably better than any given
black metal band outside of Scandinavia. 5

Kampfar: When it comes to über satanic black metal,
Urgehal is still at the top of the crop, but if you want to hear them
at their best I recommend thee “Goatcraft torment”. 7

Trauma: They look and sound grim and necro. If I’m
in the right mood, this is pretty enjoyable as far as black metal goes.
My lack of being trve makes it real hard to say more on the band, but
let my score speak for me: 7

CadenZ: Trve kvlt nekro BM with thrash influences.
Actually quite good. I wonder why I haven’t listened more to Urgehal…
must be the shitty band name. Now, I often bitch about guitar solos,
partly because I’m a guitarist myself, but more importantly because
solos are supposed to improve and intensify the songs’ output,
profile and atmosphere – here they drag ‘em down instead. And that
doesn’t mean they suck completely, or that they suck at all – they’re
just not good enough to serve their purpose. Don’t record stuff you
can’t do well, know your limitations. 7

Earthmonger (guest): Urgehal play (surprisingly
upbeat) classic black metal. Occasionally the guitar work dips outside
the genre a bit, as does the refreshingly clean production. And half the
vocals are discernible; always a nice feature. Whether or not you’ll
enjoy it depends solely on how strictly you adhere to farcical black
metal “code”. Myself, I don’t have any borders to respect. Good metal is
good metal, and I can bang to this shit. Some of these tracks feature
nice atmosphere too. 6

Heathen: The evolution of chaos Heathen: The evolution of chaos


Lord K: How I loved Heathen back in the day… Nice
to see them back and they are actually making a good return too. Heathen
sounds quite fucken vital and they have some excellent guitarwork
included on this one. Also – yep, it definitely sounds like Exodus at
times. That is a compliment. 7

Kampfar: Once upon a time I thought highly of
everything thrash, then I got acquainted with death and pretty much
forgot all about it. What I’m trying to say is this: if you are in love
with first mentioned genre, this here veteran act from the US could very
well end up moistening your cunt. I guess. 4

Trauma: No idea who these guys are, but I found myself liking this a good bit. 8

CadenZ: Another resurrected 80’s band, Heathen play
thrash metal with German sing-along choruses and up-tempos, lots of
early Metallica vibes (especially the melodic parts) and some Megadeth-y
solos. So nothing new here, but “The Evolution of Chaos” sounds quite
fresh despite that, probably because it’s their first release since
1991. 6

Earthmonger (guest): Thrash? I don’t hear it.
Sounds more like Speed and Power Metal had a brat and called it Heathen.
I can even imagine them shredding about Ares and orgies. The first
accurately thrashy track, “No Stone Unturned”, seems like it’s directly
plagiarizing shit from Metallica. Maybe not, though “NSU” is definitely like one long filthy spray of Metalli-gasm nostalgia. The album is passable. 5

Arsis: Starve for the devil Arsis: Starve for the devil


Lord K: Naming your band after a collection of
assholes is a fantastic move. I don’t know about the music though.
Competent like Nina Hartley’s vagina back in its prime, but ultimately
the novelty wears off. Flashy playing and great musicianship, sure, but
somewhere in the middle of all this there’s lacking groove and
interesting tunes. Happy, technical metal. I ass for more. 6

Kampfar: I love arses, female ones of the right
kind of course, but Arsis not at all evoke such emotions in me. I don’t
know what to name the music made by these idiots located in the US
somewhere, but, and for sure, I do know I don’t give a fuck. 3

Trauma: I know staffer Inquisitor Tomas Torquemada
really loves these guys. I probably would if I was a Virginia native,
but I’m a Appalachian Pennsylvania native and therefore don’t have any
close feelings towards said group. They can definitely write some catchy
shit. I guess being clean and sober has its advantages, no? Yes, that
means that this music sounds happy. 7

CadenZ: My InfluenceSensors™ detect lots… too many
lots… An intriguing mish-mash of everything and his Mom. Most of the
stuff is nice (the power metal galore parts can go fuck themselves,
though) but it’s hard to discern the main theme here; and even when
found it’s tied itself in so many knots that nothing of pristine value
can possibly come forth. 5

Earthmonger (guest): If Dimmu Borgir had an even
swishier US cousin, that would be Arsis. Poppy US Death with decent
guitar work, though Malone is still too mechanical and cheery for my
tastes. Decent drumming and almost audible bass are pluses. Album opener
“Forced To Rock” is pretty atrocious MTV
fodder, however, the rest of the tracklisting is passable if you’re
after background noise that doesn’t outright offend the ear. It’s not
the sort of sound I can welcome with open arms without devolving into my
long-dead In Flames worshiping years, but it isn’t exactly bad. James
Malone is going to look like the doppelganger of Alice Cooper in 20
years. Poor guy. 6

In Mourning: Monolith In Mourning: Monolith


Lord K: I don’t think I ever heard these idiots
before, but they are obviously Swedes, huh? I expected some goth-laden
crap thanx to their moniker but luckily we are spared of that. In
Mourning play some death metalish, half-melodic, twin guitars hysteria
bullshit that actually is real, real fine. I will definitely keep this
album coz I have a feeling there’s more to discover here. Easily the
winners of this edition. 8

Kampfar: In Mourning isn’t for me, but I certainly
don’t feel like suiciding when spending time with them here Swedes
supposedly doing progressive death. Believe it or not, progressive
doesn’t translate to pretentious when speaking this band. At least not
all the time. 5

Trauma: Some part of this music I really get into.
The first track, for instance, has a pretty good chorus. I’m just not
completely sold on their music yet. A bit harder to get into than normal
for me. Hopefully with time they’ll sound even better. 6

CadenZ: A poor man’s Opeth. But since Opeth are
worth their weight in gold and more… Finnish “depressive metal”
influences (Swallow the Sun/Rapture) can be spotted as well. 6

Earthmonger (guest): The vocals are actual
recordings of a pitchfork-wielding Irish farmer stomping on the lungs of
a dead sheep. The lyrics are stolen from the emo kid on YouBoob. The
music has occasional good moments but it’s not enough to save the other
45 minutes of boring composition. I really wanted to turn this crap off.
I mourn that poor sheep. 1

Mnemic: Sons of the system Mnemic: Sons of the system


Lord K: This future metal crap is irritating.
Mnemic sounds like Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Leif Edling on acid and a
hospital all mixed into one. The very clinical and cold sound together
with Pro-Tools Extravaganza makes for a listening session you all know.
It lacks soul and it lacks heart, but it reeks of utter professionalism.

Kampfar: Future fusion metal is what Mnemic do
according to themselves and that alone makes me wanna hate them with a
passion. I’m sorry to report that I’m unable to muster such emotions
this time around, I’m obviously turning soft, but even though Mnemic
possess obvious qualities I find it easy to blatantly ignore and forget
all about them. 5

Trauma: Yeah it’s all done great. Did I remember
this all that much after listening to it? Nothing has really stuck with
me, but it’s not bad. 6

CadenZ: Pretty good Devin Townsend clone, I’ve
definitely heard worse. Some Gojira and Meshuggah vibes can also be
detected. Not at all as bad as I thought this would be. 6

Earthmonger (guest): Good momentum, which is probably due to every track sounding just like the last. 2

Sigh: Scenes from hell Sigh: Scenes from hell


Lord K: Sigh… right. This was too easy. 3

Kampfar: By the sound of it, “Scenes from hell” was
conceived in a circus and not down where the devil resides. Unique
doesn’t equal good. 5

Trauma: More like Yawn. 3

CadenZ: Sigh plays the traditional variety of
symphonic circus blackthrash. Crazy as fuck, that is. You just gotta
love these guys/gal, the mix is so retardedly grandiose, bombastic and crude
but still works like a fucken charm. This kind of stuff has to be done
full-on with 100% conviction or it fails miserably. Sigh does not. Hats
off. 8

Earthmonger (guest): Circus Metal. My opinion of
this album vastly improved when I chose to wear a cardboard box over my
head. I wholeheartedly recommend this technique when dealing with Sigh.
Try it. 5

Solstice: To dust Solstice: To dust


Lord K: I expected this to be shit, simply becoz I
know absolutely nothing about Solstice. And if I know nada about a band
they are usually a stinker. That’s how it goes. “To dust” is full of
death/thrash, unfortunately the second rate one. Nothing too impressive
here but still nothing bad. It’s just sounding. 4

Kampfar: Solstice has been around since 1990 and
according to the Internet they have a habit of disbanding after every
record they do. I hope they don’t do so this time around, not that they
are fantastic, but with a better sound their mix of death and thrash
could very well end up handing me a proper erection of the mental kind
next time around. 7

Trauma: This suffers from a severe case of backgroundmusicitis. You know, background music at one of those commonplace metal parties. 6

CadenZ: For some reason Solstice’s thrashy and
somewhat technical death metal doesn’t convince me. “To Dust” sounds
fabricated, and somehow soulless. I like the vocalist, but other than
that this doesn’t grate my ballsack the way I like, that is to the
bone®. 5

Earthmonger (guest): What can I say, I just don’t
care about it. I can’t find anything specifically positive or negative;
it just bores the hell out of me. I spun it again to see if I missed
anything. Fell asleep. 2

Suicidal Angels: Sanctify the darkness Suicidal Angels: Sanctify the darkness


Lord K: With one of this edition’s shittiest
monikers, Suicidal Anuses deliver some polished and weak death/thrash
you shouldn’t give a fuck about. Happy riffs do not belong in metal.
Ever. 4

Kampfar: As so often before when it comes to me versus thrash, I lose all interest when the vocalist opens his yapper. 4

Trauma: I am not impressed. 5

CadenZ: Frantic evilized thrash. Absolutely nothing new under the sun, but good entertainment for the time being. 6

Earthmonger (guest): Vocals are very 90’s. While not terribly engaging, the songs do groove. 5

Fatalist: The depths of inhumanity Fatalist: The depths of inhumanity


Lord K: These fucko’s obviously hold the old,
classic Swedish death metal scene as their guidance in life. The stolen
Nihilist logo, the guitar sound, etc… They are not able to create as
great fucken music though, but it’s a nice try. Leave this to us Swedes,
we invented it and we do it better for a reason, you know. 5

Kampfar: I once fisted a fatalist, no I didn’t, but
fuck me in the ass with an Oldsmobile if this old-school borefest doing
death is worth spending any time on at all. Do their heroes instead. 3

Trauma: If I had never heard “Those Bands”, I’d
probably really dig this shit like no tomorrow. Unfortunately, I do know
them, and am not so pleased with this group. Make an original logo,
damnit! 5

CadenZ: Death metal of the old school kind, early
90’s Obituary, Dismember and Entombed. Not as good as the classics and
the vocalist has a pretty weak voice, but this shit is still very
enjoyable. The amazing golden oldies rip-off quality of most riffs drops
the verdict with a point, though. 7

Earthmonger (guest): Nothing redeemable. There
isn’t anything here that you haven’t heard done better by a hundred
other average death metal bands. The smoky beast on the cover reminds me
of that constipated turtle from “The Never-Ending Story”. Not metal
enough. Maybe Spanish polka. 3

Sybreed: The pulse of awakening Sybreed: The pulse of awakening


Lord K: I have no idea why, but for some reason I
had high hopes for this album. Keyboards, clean vocals, screams, the
works. You know what I am aiming at. Sybreed’s not bad, they just sound
like the 400 million other bands we have to listen to in this style,
which ultimately makes them end up without an own identity. Still
decent/good music. 7

Kampfar: I wish I never laid ears on “The pulse of
awakening” but I have to admit that they got themselves a nice
production. Only recommended if you think of Eurovision as the ultimate
display of music. 3

Trauma: I was surprised. This is actually not bad.
Too bad the guitars sound like every other metal band out there. But
outside of that, the riffs themselves are good. This is some listenable
keyboard-laden metal with clean and shouted vocals. Some of the cleans
fail. 7

CadenZ: Hmm, I’m a little torn here – the clean
vocals are as annoying as a Jehovah’s witness at your door 7am, but
other than that this hybrid of progressive and deathish groove metal,
techno and samplings seems quite OK. Oh no, now they went total pop gaycore apeshit on my ass… fuck you. I repeat – fuck you. With a dull and rusty scythe. In the ass. 2

Earthmonger (guest): As their label
unenthusiastically proclaims, this album is “Listenable”… once. I’ve
always been a fan of Industrial-Electro crossing over into metal, but
for fuck’s sake, is it necessary to make the switch every thirty seconds
in each tune? The lack of sufficiently blending transitions makes me
queasy. The industrial bits could groove, in an industrial environment,
but the metal doesn’t have its own two legs to stand on, and what little
there is, is a bit too nu for my ears. 3

Through The Eyes Of The Dead: Skepsis Through The Eyes Of The Dead: Skepsis


Lord K: There’s only so much you can say about a
generic death metal band. So lemme say that this is a generic death
metal band. With some qualities. 6

Kampfar: Through The Eyes Of The Dead is yet another talented band going nowhere I care for. 5

Trauma: Hey, I’ve heard this before! In fact, it’s
being played by shitloads of other bands as we speak. The important
question is, do they do it better than everyone else? No. 5

CadenZ: Guys, if skepsis is what you see even when looking through the eyes of the dead, maybe you should’ve thought twice before recording this album. 3

Earthmonger (guest): “The Manifest” is the only
stand-out track for me. The rest are just below-average, uninteresting
US Death tracks. The alternating vocals get old pretty quickly: from
death growl to weak black metal scream, every other line. 2

Rob Zombie: Hellbilly deluxe 2 Rob Zombie: Hellbilly deluxe 2


Lord K: There was a time when good ol’ Rob not only
looked alot like me (or the other way around), he also created some
fantastically fine music. Seems like his heart is in movie-making
nowadays though, and I don’t mind since his best work is obviously
behind him. No one can say “yeah” as cool as Rob, though. 4

Kampfar: Mr. Zombie looks as if he’s been living
underground for a couple of years by now, his apperance certainly more
scaring than the music released under his name ever was. Looks aside,
this shit is actually quite good. 7

Trauma: Rob Zombie did some really cool stuff in
White Zombie, even some of his earlier solo stuff was, as well. This,
however, is not there. 3

CadenZ: I think we should introduce a new event for
the Winter Olympics: Robsleigh. We hunt the poor untalented fucker
down, torture him to an agonizing death by peeling off his skin and
flesh, carve out his Zombie innards and ta-dah! We’ve got a skeleton
sleigh. One size fits all – down the slopes we go! Rattle-rattle-rattle-rattle… 2

Earthmonger (guest): “Hellbilly Deluxe Vol 2” starts out with a good “La Sexorcisto” vibe. I thought, “Hell yeah, back to the groove of WHITE
Zombie”. Then it took an abrupt nosedive into the high school classroom
mucus trough of the aptly titled “Educated Horses”. Midway through sees
it wander back into the realm of ‘listenable’, but as “Dream Factory”
plays, the groove immediately surrenders the battle like a
phlegm-speckled long-haired old janitor, his yellowing hanky waving in
the air as he shouts across an infinite expanse at an imaginary undead
army, “Why the fuck did I even record this? Who am I? Someone kill me”.
The album has fleeting traces of groove after that, but as a whole, this
is another effort I’m going to have to beat to death with a plunger and
flush away. So this is Rob’s “Last CD Ever”, eh? I think I’d have
focused on the songs instead of hiring four album art artists. What are
we gonna remember here? “Hellbilly Deluxe Vol 2” was a masterpiece, old
chap. Just a pity it was blighted by music”. 3

The Sickening: Death, devastation, decay The Sickening: Death, devastation, decay


Lord K: Norwegian death metal with a suspicious
production… Add to that some pig-vocals, a shit snare sound, blastbeats,
non-existing songwriting skills and you have The Sickening. Brutal?
Yes. Fast? Sure. Irritating? Most definitely. 3

Kampfar: Norwegians doing death aren’t the most
common thing in the world, and judging by “Death devastation decay” we
should all be grateful for that. If you need a fix of br00tal death, do
Infected Disarray, Prostitute Disfigurement, or Amputated instead.
Incredibly fucking bad this one. 2

Trauma: I hate this shit. A lot. Be as fast as you want, just learn how to write good music. 2

CadenZ: Yeah. Oh yeah. Blast my brains out, you
bitches. But stop the fucken pig squealing, you just end up sounding
like a… pig. Other than that this is sweet and brutal shit. 7

Earthmonger (guest): Hate the drum sound; it’s like
he’s playing on plastic buckets. Vocals are incoherent as
furstytyinghek. The guitars are like first-grade math. Despite all that,
I don’t dislike this album. But I don’t like it enough to buy it,
either. They get a 4

Sworn Amongst: Severance Sworn Amongst: Severance


Lord K: Holy shit. Is this deathcore? Whatever it is I hope it lies down and dies on me now. 2

Kampfar: If you are going to buy just one thrash
album this year, make sure it isn’t “Severance”. Apart from a couple of
OK riffs, this namely sounds exactly like bland nothingness to my ears.
If you utterly dig the genre you might end up thinking otherwise of
course. 3

Trauma: Sworn amongst what? A giganctic pile of
feces? A jumbo-sized bucket of Kentucky fried semen? A cruise ship full
of heterosexuals? Fuck that. 3

CadenZ: I swear, my ears get bored to fucken tears
being amongst your tracks. Thrash metal with growl vox and some shouted
gang choirs. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m outta here. 4

Earthmonger (guest): Generic thrash and overall a boring sea of sameness. 3


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on June 19, 2014 by in Audio Autopsy.
%d bloggers like this: