Audio Autopsy – October 2008

Audio Autopsy – October 2008

01/10/08  ||  Global Domination

Amon Amarth: Twilight of the thunder god Amon Amarth: Twilight of the thunder god


Lord K: As you can see
in my full coverage of this album, Amon Amarth’s back with their
strongest album yet. With a few new touches (some beautiful string
sections f.e) they manage to up their game a little and deliver one
incredibly strong recording (made but a few km’s away from my place
even) that will take Amon Amarth to the next level of metallic
popularity. I applaud them and they deserve it after all the blood,
sweat and tears that’s been shed over the years. Excellent work, kids.
Since we are generally nicer with the scores in Audio Autopsy I’ll
change the original 8 I gave them in the review to, since it’s superior
to everything else in this edition, a: 9

Kampfar: For some odd reason, me being a viking and
all, Amon Amarth I have until now blatantly overlooked. It’s not
exactly the very meaning of life I’ve been ignoring for all these years,
as some of their fans like to believe, but fuck me sideways with a tire
iron if this shit ain’t good. Melodic death metal with meat and little
to no cheese, though still with atmosphere present, is obviously
something grumpy, old Kampfar can approve of. Well, I already knew that,
known it ever since Hypocrisy changed their style around. There is some
generic shit to be found on “Twilight of the thunder gods”, but a lot
less than it would take for it not to win this ass edition. 8

The Duff: Some awesome stuff, some pretty good
stuff; overall, Amon Amarth I don’t think have released a bad album. The
band’s classic era is behind them, and this is the worst album of the
last three in my opinion, but the truth is that this band knows how to
make the listener live and breathe the fires of old, Viking maiden jugs
and ale-filled hollowed-tusks galore. I’m in a slight disagreement over
Johan Hegg having his vocals worked on, considering he shits fire as it
is, but a minor, personal gripe it is. 7

Abyss: I have to agree with K’s review,
Amon Amarth has never sounded better and I think I can finally say that
I like the band. Seems like Johan Hegg has gotten his “parched
throat”-problem under control as well. 8

Seker: I’m not really feeling Amon Amarth’s sound
lately. They’re a band created in praise of the ancients, but they seem
really slick and modern. The dichotomy really just throws me off. Stick
with “Once Sent from the Golden Hall”. 5

Metal Church: This present wasteland Metal Church: This present wasteland


Lord K: The 2 first albums by Metal Church are
almost classics. I can’t even name any other piece released by them
after that – I just know they are stinkers coz there’s a reason I don’t
have them in my collection, you know. It’s not like I’ll somersault my
way through Sweden, naked, in joy after hearing this here recording
either. And they should change moniker to Wooden Church, that’s fucken
metal, bitch! 3

Kampfar: I shall start a band called Metal Mosque,
then blow it to pieces. Hell, hadn’t it been for Panzerchrist, this
ensemble would’ve been totally useless. 4

The Duff: I don’t know much about this band, but
I’m very surprised they’re still going; I’m aware of none of their back
catalogue, so I’m judging this from scratch. I like it when they speed
up and rock out; when they slow down, I’m not so keen. The guitar skills
are sweet-lickin’ hot (suffering a time-warp phase, methinks), and the
vocals are all kindsa fine (very big on Maiden at the moment, and
occasionally there are similarities to Bruce the Mighty Metal Lord God
Dragonslayer the 3rd, but this guy is a talent all by himself); a great,
fun album overall. 8

Abyss: I can’t for the life of me remember if I’ve actually heard anything
by Metal Church, which is usually a bad sign. I have no idea what I
expected but thrash metal fronted by Bruce Dickinson’s throatier brother
certainly wasn’t it. Not that I complain though, this isn’t bad at all.
The vocals especially has a nice 80’s touch to ‘em. 6

Seker: Metal Church have become one of my recent
favorites thanks to their self-titled debut and “Blessing in Disguise”.
This one sounds a bit more like the latter, balancing some mid-paced
speed metal with epic and melodically complex flowing sections.
Probably not “intelligent” or “diverse” enough for your average
metalhead nowadays, though. 8

Holy Moses: Agony of death Holy Moses: Agony of death


Lord K: I met Sabina Classen (vocals) at Wacken
once. I explained to her that “The new machine of Liechtenstein” is a
fantastic album by all means. She was happy about that and prolly fell
in love with me. I decided to walk away before she had the chance to
start asking for my opinion about everything released after “Liechtenstein”. I didn’t wanna hurt her feelings, you know. 4

Kampfar: Unholy Josef is a legendary band I’ve
cared very little about until now, and it’s a tradition to be continued
once “Agony of death” has passed me by. However, if you are in need of
thrash harking back to the golden days of shit, aka the 80’s, indulge
yourself. Why? Well, I think this album holds a certain charm lost on this, idiot. 5

The Duff: I was expecting power metal, and I get
Exodus. I’ve painfully trawled through some bands this AA, but this
throwback outfit has made it practically worthwhile; not perfect, but
Holy Moses know their shit back to front and all around. 8

Abyss: Four songs into the album and I still can’t
remember anything particular. After being active for 28 years I can’t
blame the band for sounding kinda uninspired. 4

Seker: Thank you, Holy Moses, for not sucking and
for actually playing some metal. Sure, it’s nothing spectacular, but if
you’re listening to these albums in alphabetical order, it sounds like
fucking Slayer! Holy Moses actually knows what a riff sounds like, which
is more than I can say for most of these other bands. 7

Volbeat: Guitar gangsters and Cadillac blood Volbeat: Guitar gangsters and Cadillac blood


Lord K: Few bands are as hyped as Volbeat these
days. The metal is toned down (a strategic move to gain even more
success) in favour of more stadium sing-along material. And I’m sure
they are getting there with this album. I am a little disappointed with
the decrease of heavier shit but nonetheless Volbeat is creating some
50’s grooving metal, whatever that might be. And there’s no denying that
singing “Counting all the assholes in the room” is a recipe for success
when you make it as catchy as they do. 7

Kampfar: Well, what the fuck is this, a Danish
Green Day? Not exactly spot on as a cumshot in the eye there, but beat
me with lawnmower if you want, for at times this pack make me think of
what the mentioned Americans did on “American idiot”. This is of course
heavier than the credibility killing, eye-lined pieces of white thrash
somehow able to make good music ever was. Idiot. 6

The Duff: Many people appear disappointed in this
effort, and not having heard past works, I can still see why; there’s
some really cool stuff to Volbeat, but some really piss-poor, no-heart
music too, and I’m supposing that beforehand their material primarily
comprised the former. Cool title and very sweet album cover make this a:

Abyss: The band caught my eye/ear with their
previous album “Rock the rebel/metal the devil” and I was quite curious
to hear if the Danes could repeat the absolutely golden songwriting
again. Turns out that they could, but only for about 75% of the album.
Some of the tunes here are awesome (“Back to prom”, “Mary Ann’s place”,
“Light a way”) while some are bordering on silly (“Still counting”,
“Hallelujah goat”). And then there’s the absolutely sublime Social
Distortion cover “Making believe”. Poulsen’s voice has more power then
Mike Ness and lifts the song to new heights. “Guitar gangsters &
Cadillac blood” aren’t as good as “Rock the rebel…” as a whole, but it’s
far from bad. 7

Seker: Huh? This album confuses me: the cover, the
title, the actual sound of it… I still don’t really like it though. It’s
like metal’n’roll or something, but with bad vocals and a lot of goofy
shit. 4

Enslaved: Vertebrae Enslaved: Vertebrae


Lord K: This is quite possibly the second time I hear Enslaved. I don’t think there will be a third. 4

Kampfar: I haven’t exactly feared this day but I
have seen it coming. What fucking day you might ask, and I answer: the
day Enslaved got a bit too artsy for me and my ears. Then again – even
though I was the fuckwit suggesting it to be included in this month’s
edition, this is not the easiest album to judge after a couple listens
only. 6

The Duff: Ah, Enslaved. This album is great, just
as expected; I’m simply not feeling it as much as past releases. There’s
the band’s magic throughout, but the album doesn’t lift off fully for
me until halfway through; a shame, but I’m willing to acknowledge my
hopes were too high with mention of “the best Enslaved album yet”.
Whoever tackles the solos sure knows his stuff, though – very moving. 7

Abyss: Seems like Enslaved stopped with the weed
and started to rock again. Or maybe it’s just me being focused enough to
actually give them a chance. I guess it’s just a matter of blocking out
the annoying fuckers who claim Enslaved is the second coming of Pink
Floyd and listen unbiased. Bottomline, this is a nice mix of various
extreme metal and spaced out weirdo-shit. 6

Seker: An epic work combining progressive rock and
(hardly any) old school black metal distilled into some kind of bouncy
Pink Floydian Nordic pop thing that I could care less about. It’s
well-played enough, but I guess I’m just not smart enough for it. 5

Slipknot: All hope is gone Slipknot: All hope is gone


Lord K: They have masks and they play some kind of metal. Just like they did on all their previous albums. 7

Kampfar: ‘Insert catchy parts’, ‘insert emotional
parts’, ‘insert half assed anger’, then burden the producer with trying
to make it sound like an album. Talented bullshit is still bullshit,
“All hope is gone” hardly anything but yet another shitload of feces for
the “masses” to devour. Or maggots, as the masked idiots refer to their
fans as. 3

The Duff: I don’t hate this nearly as much as
expected; praise usually stems from their first two albums, but I doubt
I’ll ever check them out on the strength of “All hope is gone”. The one
Slipknot experience is enough for me, because these guys aren’t nearly
as good as self-proclaimed; gifted musicians, but music that isn’t
anything more than heavy nu-metal. 4

Abyss: Seems like Slipknot are at their best when
they don’t try so goddamn hard. It’s okay to let in some smooth
homo-vocal harmonies, especially since the “brutal” parts never really
convinced me. A total surprise for me that I dig this as much as I do. 8

Seker: Look, I’m not trying to gain credibility or
show off my metalness here: I really don’t like this kind of stuff. It’s
radio-pop with distorted guitars: nothing more, nothing less. 4

The Haunted: Versus The Haunted: Versus


Lord K: What was it that made The Haunted so talked
about, so hyped and so critically loved wherever you looked all those
years back when they did the first, second and third album? The
aggression. The fury. The relentlessness. The thrash. Yep, those are the
reasons. Even if The Haunted are moving away more and more from the
strict thrash territory with each and every release, they still piss on
most bands in this genre. This is definitely a hella lot better than
“The dead penis” but I think I’ll stick to the Marco Aro era of the band
when they were at their most vicious stage. I still love Jensen though,
after all – he wrote “Saltrubbed eyes” (Seance), one of the finest death metal recordings
in the history of death metal. Nonetheless, “Versus” has its moments
but it’s ofcourse nothing compared to the “old” material when thrash was
King for The Haunted. 7

Kampfar: The Haunted, and in particular Mr.
Dolving, doesn’t sound like they got a fire up their ass no more. Good
for them, and him, but not for their output. Giving in while screaming
is still giving in, guys; boring, uninspired and flat is what I think of
your “Versus”. It is hard to fathom this is the same gang responsible
for “Hate song”, one of the best tunes ever. Ta dåkkår samen fårr
helvete! 5

The Duff: I don’t know what happened to this band;
“rEVOLVEr” was a great album, as was “One Kill Wonder” – not their most
classic, but they could have gone with the sound of either and still
made it work with some minor evolution. This here is an attempt to bring
back what they had, but at the same time pushing it out even further in
terms of accessibility. Dolving sounds truly terrible in places, once
one of my favourite vocalists – his work on the self-titled is
untouchable, but here he’s lost a helluva lot of vinegar. 3

Abyss: As much as I love The Haunted and Dolvings
crazy antics in particular I can’t help but feel that “Versus” is among
their least inspired albums. “The dead eye” was a great mix of old and
new elements within the band’s sound and thus, I had higher expectations
from “Versus”. But it’s worth mentioning that even on a bad day The
Haunted kicks the ass of 95% of the thrash/death bands out there. 6

Seker: Well, I never really got into the Haunted,
but at least their second album was sort of a follow-up to the last At
the Gates album. Underneath the groove riffs and screams, this could be
Linkin Park, and that’s just not Kosher. 4

The Acacia Strain: Continent The Acacia Strain: Continent


Lord K: 2 bands that always end up on random in my
wonderful iPod are The Abscence and The Acacia Strain, for some reason. I
can never tell which one is which and it’s not becoz I think they sound
the same or anything. I know one of them is kinda fucken bad and one is
actually kinda enjoyable. After listening to this album I will finally
remember that it’s not The Acacia Strain’s brand of beef metal I prefer.
Then again, maybe it is coz I can’t remember what that other band
sounds like. 4

Kampfar: The Red Chord is the only worthy death
core band I know of, The Acacia Strain sporting the set-pieces but not
the ideas necessary not to bore me into a massive stroke. 4

The Duff: Everything I hate about the current metal
scene and then some; I knew I wasn’t going to like this from the first
riff. In large part, the vocals kill this, because some of the music is
good, but nothing on “Continent” makes the band stand out any; it’s
simply a mix of all popular metalcore bands, all popular melodeath
bands, all popular, watered down death metal bands and some hardcore. 4

Abyss: The name scares away most extreme metal
connoisseurs but to my surprise there was a flair to the bands metalcore
(or deathcore maybe is the term, fuck if I know. I hate the word no
matter what) that is extremely rare. There’s actually some technical
talent here and while the band is far from original I nodded my head
every now and then. 6

Seker: Well, this would be better without the
vocals. The music underneath is some cool progressive stuff with ambient
guitars and Neurosis-style drumming, but it’s hard to hear it over the
metalcore screams. They do have songs about H.P. Lovecraft, Half Life 2,
and Rocky (or at least the song titles seem to indicate that), so I’ll
say that this is one of the better albums this month. 6

Evergrey: Torn Evergrey: Torn


Lord K: Clinical, perfectly Pro-Tool’d, executed
without flaws and generally catchy, easy listening that actually appears
to be better than what it should be. Tom’s voice is what makes Evergrey
stand out compared to the rest of the bands in this particular genre.
He’s not exactly a Geoff Tate, Michael Kiske or Bruce Dickinson, but he
sings with a lot of emotion and conviction (sometimes he even borders to
come across as trying TOO hard) –
which is something I appreciate most of the time. Some metal, some
cheese = a regular Evergrey album. By the way, fantastic opening riff of
“Fear”. 7

Kampfar: That fucking joke, or wordplay if you
like, has been old and tired for a couple of years now. But it still
rings truer than that hunched dude from Notre-Dame ever did. True and
patented Swedish Eurovision “metal” this. Be sure I fucking hate it. 2

The Duff: Evergrey are back with their return to
form. I couldn’t stomach “Monday Morning Apocalypse”, featuring watered
down band trademarks and too much focus on vocals; Englund is as usual
in top form, but back are the simple yet meaty guitars that were sorely
lacking on the last album. These guys are as strong as ever, becoming
one of metal’s most consistent bands the minor slump notwithstanding. 8

Abyss: Stop. Singing. You. Sissy. 3

Seker: Groove riffs, overemotional vocals, some key
work, and yet thousands of metalheads consider them to be worth
listening too… sounds like Nevermore, huh? I guess it’s Sweden’s answer
to those guys or something. Well, I don’t really care about either of
them all that much. 3

Metallica: Death magnetic Metallica: Death magnetic


Lord K: Take the aggression and masterful melodies
from “Ride the lightning”, add the overall complete supremacy and
domination that is “Master of puppets”. Now throw in a huge dose of “And
justice for all”. Mix it all together and behold the result. IT’S NOTDEATH MAGNETIC”!!!
No matter what people say. Still it’s the best we have heard from the
world’s worst drummer and his cohorts in about 50 years. Not that it
says much considering they are still responsible for “St. Anger”. 5

Kampfar: Once upon a time I thought it impossible
to make an album more brutal than “Master of puppets”, but then came
“St. Anger” and proved me oh so wrong. Fuck the latter and “Death
magnetic” too, for even though the last mentioned is a way better affair
than their tin-can abomination, some minutes of it actually sounding
inspired and not forced, it remains a fact that Metallica’s talent at
metal got lost in the 80’s somewhere, the spirit of Cliff surviving for
one album only. And they still think they are the shit. Patethic but true. 3

The Duff: I’ve been listening to the edited
version, with forty-three minutes cut out, and I’m surprised; some good
bits and pieces here. Lars’ drumming is some of the laziest I’ve ever
heard, though, Kirk’s solos aren’t doing anything for me for the most
part and Jamez’s’.. ‘zes… vocals aren’t great, that’s for sure. The
production isn’t that much of a step up from “St. Anger”, either, and
the band isn’t writing songs anymore – just needlessly lengthy
wanderings with too many riffs repeated. 5

Abyss: The most talked-about band in the metal
scene are back to scare audiophiles and metal fans the world over. Do
they “succeed”? Well, there’s some okay riffs and leads here and there,
but overall the problems from “St. Anger” still plagues the band. In
other words, look forward to too long songs, childish lyrics and -1
dimensional drumming. 5

Seker: Oh look, metal’s back in style, we’d better
switch our sound again so we can make more money. Songwriting? What the
fuck’s that? Conviction? Died with Cliff. This stuff sounds okay if you
don’t really listen to a lot of other (better) metal bands, but if
you’ve been around the block more than once, it’s worthless. I dub thee
GuitarHeroCore. 4

Sonic Syndicate: Love and other disasters Sonic Syndicate: Love and other disasters


Lord K: A full coverage can be found here.
Sonic Syndicate lacks everything that makes In Flames great. But they
still pull off some decent, soulless metal. Good for them. 6

Kampfar: It took me exactly 5 seconds to judge this
album to be something I would like very little, if at all. See, this is
melodic “a-girl-broke-my-heart-and-now-I’m-down” metal, you know,
manure dense with catchy choruses, nonsense riffs, but with less of an
attitude than a heroinist 2 minutes after injecting the best shot he
ever had. Drop the little metal influences to be found, guys, and
perhaps they’ll play your meek shit on daytime radio. Fuck off. 3

The Duff: I liken these guys to The Acacia Strain,
but the vocals are more tedious; just as monotone, but with the added
grating element of clean singing not unlike Soilwork, just poppier, more
sugar-coated and catchier. The music is grades more identifiable as
something unique, though, so already I much prefer these fellas. I’ll
never buy into this stuff, and the vocals do ruin this without a doubt,
but it’s their musical-spiel, so to speak (like a man with breasts), and
they do it well. 5

Abyss: The band are obviously ambitious and hungry
for fame. Unfortunately they also fit into every goddamn cliché you
could come up with surrounding the much-hated “melodic death metal by
numbers with no soul or heart at all”. 4

Seker: Whoa, when did they let Papa Roach on the
Metal Archives? There’s absolutely nothing metal about this band at all,
and they aren’t a particularly good rock band either. They’ve one step
close to the edge, and they’re about to break! 2

Bleeding Through: Declaration Bleeding Through: Declaration


Lord K: I would like to hang this whole band naked
on a wall and then have all my friends join me and throw poisonous darts
at them. There’s no limit for my hatred when it comes to this American
new metal bullshit. This plague must end. Bleeding Through can be the
leading example of the genres’ demise. ABOMINATION! 3

Kampfar: This lot has some fine fucking ideas and
also know their instruments really rather well. Them fine fucking ideas,
however, are few and far between, Menstruating Through most of the time
sounding like a collaboration of dudes mixing blandness with ideas
stolen from their favorite bands. Whoever that might be. Anyway,
“Declaration” is a patched affair, one hardly sporting any sense of
direction and/or focus. In other words, this is yet another row of 0’s
and 1’s fit for the bin and not your ears. 3

The Duff: I’m not crazy about this band, but there
are some nice touches here and there. I’m guessing these guys are black
metal, but there are some very accessible components that aren’t
agreeing with me at all. Outstanding production and an album cover that
reminds me of Judge Dredd, one of the greatest films ever made, give
this a decent score, but as an accurate summation, this is very average
music performed by very adequate musicians. 6

Abyss: This is like the American version of Sonic
Syndicate (or is it the other way around?). A completely unoriginal band
that for some reason are popular beyond belief. So they get the same
grade as SS. 4

Seker: Guys, metalcore is out, deathcore and
suicidal black metal are in. Get with the fucking times! There’s nothing
worse than trendies who can’t even keep up with trends. 3

Poisonblack: A dead heavy day Poisonblack: A dead heavy day


Lord K: Poisonsuck is not the next big thing. If
you are into cheese and shit vocals, congrats – Poisoncock might appeal
to you. Also, congrats to having incredibly catastrophic taste in music.

Kampfar: What a fucking shit name this lot have
chosen, one probably invented the same day Mr.
I’m-not-a-very-good-vocalist got appointed. Fucking hell, it sounds like
they picked up a random dude and asked him to do a half-assed attempt
at laying vocals over some riffs and rhythms hardly going anywhere.
Over, because fuck knows he insisted on being heard. The music, if you
care, is something fluffy and emotional, to me sounding like pop metal. 3

The Duff: The Floyd meets Sabbath intro was all
sweet as hell, but what follows is hit and miss; I dig when these guys
get all stoner, rock-heavy, but the nu-metal/heavy pop ruins this in the
long run. 4

Abyss: Sentenced was great, Kypck likewise and
Poisonblack are… well, not really my cup of tea. It sounds like Ville
Laihiala is missing his old band since I can definitely hear the
touchingpoints. Unfortunately Poisonblack just don’t have that special
something (chemistry/chemicals/talent/alcohol) that made Sentenced so
entertaining. 5

Seker: Well, they got the Poison part right! Glam
metal revival disguised as sophisticated gothic metal. Remember “North
from Here”? Those were better days. 3

Battlelore: The last alliance Battlelore: The last alliance


Lord K: This band (made out of trolls and elves who
didn’t get to be in the “Lord of the rings” movies) holds some nice
female vocals with some decent growls on top of melodic fantasy metal
(whatever that is). I don’t think there’s a chance I can ever take these
fuckers seriously though, just look at this picture.
What surprises me with Battlelore’s latest offering is that it doesn’t
suck as much as I was sure it would. Not even close. I’ll never admit I
like this as much as I do, just so you know. 7

Kampfar: Epic power metal with extreme vocals, as I
have seen them described, my bleeding ass. Sure, there are a couple of
dull variants present, but the main vocals, with a huge margin, is
handled by a woman with a voice less extreme than the snores of a
sedated poodle. So, her vocals fit the music way better than a giant
dildo would up her vulva then. This band should seriously start making
instrumental shit for generic RPG’s, aka muzak. Almost there already. 2

The Duff: The only female-fronted band I like is
Arch Enemy; this Nightfish stuff never will appeal to me – meshing
half-assed guitar riffs with cheesy as all testicles synth that drowns
out everything but the band’s one major selling aspect, who can’t even
sing in Battlelore’s case. Folk music, cheese, tepid musicianship, some
aggro-male vocals to add to the metal and the epicness… can’t stand it. 1

Abyss: Still obsessed with Tolkien, still gothmetal
and still nothing more then okay. The vocals (both female clean and
male growls) sound nice though. Big plus for those. 5

Seker: Symphonic stuff that sounds like a generic
Finnish power/gothic metal band trying to pull off something like
Summoning and ending up in Cheeseville. 4

Falconer: Among beggar and thieves Falconer: Among beggar and thieves


Lord K: I could do a lengthy coverage here,
explaining my hatred and utter disgust for what Falconer is doing… Then I
remembered that it will be so much fucken easier to sum it all up with
one word, a word that comes straight from my heart and is meant as a
token of my affection: Die. 2

Kampfar: I never liked Mitothyn, so why the fuck
should I bother with the power metal version of said band? Hoppla,
hoppla, go get raped by a dragon, oh brave warriors dressed in pink
lingerie. 1

The Duff: This music is intolerable when the vocals aren’t up to scratch, which is the case with Falconer. 4

Abyss: Mattias Blad still has a voice of gold but
unfortunatly I feel that the music isn’t as good as on “Northwind”. The
super-catchy riffs and choruses just aren’t here in the abundance I’ve
become used to. 5

Seker: Falconer, you’re doing it wrong. The vocals
aren’t supposed to lead the music in metal. Stop it! Also, what’s with
the Machine Head riffs, huh? It’s all lalalala on top and DUNDUNDUN on the bottom with some Gothenburg harmonies sprinkled around; it just don’t make any goddamn sense! 3


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This entry was posted on June 19, 2014 by in Audio Autopsy.
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