Audio Autopsy – December 2017

Audio Autopsy – December 2017

01/12/17  ||  Global Domination

Blut aus Nord: Deus salutis meæ


Habakuk: Grinding, menacing, punishing, awesoming. 8

Myrkrarfar: Nightmarish and twisted, as always, but not quite getting the job done. The messy production (finally someone managed to use too much reverb on vocals, didn’t think I’d ever hear that) lacks focus, and the more organic magic of “Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry” is all but gone. The atmosphere is still thick with outlandish, mechanical bleakness; maybe I’ll love this in a year or so. 6

Ziv: In a realm of their own, Blut aus Nord continues its blackened path of dehumanized industrial black metal that is so much more than just that. 9

Aggressor: With the truest of sounds of Casio synthesizer drums / Recorded in the metal lair, a.k.a the basement at your mum’s / This is the nightmarish soundtrack to a Lovecraft-written book / After listening to this album, I’m afraid to under my bed look 7

Sorcerer: The Crowning of the Fire King


Habakuk: Too slow for heavy metal, too fast for doom. What is this sorcery?! 5

Myrkrarfar: I really liked the debut, and now Sorcerer have taken a huge leap forward. The arrangements are epic, the melodies enticing, and the songs and album sport an impressive cohesion. It doesn’t suck that one of my favorite guitarists, Kristian Niemann, shreds fantastic solos, or that vocalist Anders Engberg is the next coming of Mats Levén. As solid an album as they come. 8

Ziv: If it weren’t for the sometimes daft lyrics, this would be a great album. A blend of Candlemass, Sabbath with Dio and traditional European doom with a bit too much corniness. 7

Aggressor: Didn’t I already listen to Nocturnal Rites earlier in the list? / But this one is slower, is it something I just missed? / No, turns out this was Sorcerer, with an appealing old-school sound / of the Tony Martin fronted Sabbath and Queensryche, I’m astound 8

Evil Invaders: Feed Me Violence


Habakuk: Not quite meeting the standard implied by the Razor-borrowed name (which is a bit misleading here anyway), but there is worse thrash around. 7

Myrkrarfar: Energetic thrash ably executed. If the vocalist could keep away from the Kai Hansen impressions, that’d be tits. All in all pretty faceless, but the intensity is infectious. 6

Ziv: Not so bad. But not so good. Doin’ what I can here. 5

Aggressor: Take the best ingredients of American and German thrash / put them in a giant pot and furiously together smash / Don’t bother boiling it, this one is best served raw / take big chunks and force them down your jaw / Just be aware of some major corpulence / Cause’ damn, that is some very tasty violence 9

Exhumed: Death Revenge


Habakuk: Hard to dislike completely, this death-themed metal. 6

Myrkrarfar: Fuuuuuuuuck. Some people still know how to death metal. 8

Ziv: With every new Exhumed release I decide to give the band a chance. In the end I’m always disappointed. 6

Aggressor: I kinda got what I assumed / When I listened to Exhumed / Playing and screaming about horror, blood and gore / They sure have some old-school death metal for you in store 6

Hallatar: No Stars Upon the Bridge


Habakuk: So deep. 5

Myrkrarfar: So, your soulmate dies at 39. Instead of going for the rope, you channel all your despair and grief into creating one of the blackest, heaviest and most beautiful doom albums ever. I’m not only amazed, or impressed. I’m grateful. Thank you, Juha, for enduring. The world is a better place for it. 9

Ziv: Extra boring Finnish doom in the old Paradise Lost style. Going nowhere really slowly. 4

Aggressor: A desperate scream of agony / a slow lament of utter tragedy / like the swan falling from the sky / this album makes me cry 7

Samael: Hegemony


Habakuk: Sounds pretty much like the last one, which is a solid 6 years old. Someone is feeling comfortable. 7

Myrkrarfar: Massive, punchy and majestic, “Hegemony” is the best Samael album since “Passage”. Best song: “Black Supremacy”. 8

Ziv: Blah blah blah I’m old but “Ceremony of Opposites” was their last great album. For sure. 5

Aggressor: The sound is heavy and grinds like a machine / but on a whole album of that, I am not very keen / Though my head is nodding quite a bit / I cannot listen to the whole album before I have to quit 5

Dr. Living Dead!: Cosmic Conqueror


Habakuk: Suprisingly decent chunky thrash, buuut: Why would anyone think it was a good idea to copy Suicidal’s style of “hold my nose shut” singaaaa / from time to taaaa!? / It’s annoyaaa 6

Myrkrarfar: All hail the bandana! 7

Ziv: Suicidal Tendencies rip off band with a shit moniker. Enjoy if you can. 5

Aggressor: Here we have some really catchy thrash, or crossover, I don’t know / There is lot’s of variation, and some songs even go slow / We even have a very Maidenesque instrumental / I like this a lot, but not enough to drive me mental 7

Iron Monkey: 9-13


Habakuk: Boy, that’s one sludgy Iron Monkey! 8

Myrkrarfar: The violence is fucking exhilarating, but I could do without the distortion on the vocals. The screaming would be even rawer au naturel. 6

Ziv: As far as sludge goes these days this is a great release. Fits along nicely with their two earlier recordings. 7

Aggressor: I’m not a fan of sludge / so this one’s hard to judge / I can just say it doesn’t do it for me / So if you want to whine, feel so very free 3

Nocturnal Rites: Phoenix


Habakuk: Vhat is dis, metal more powerful zen ze German? Ach so, from Schweden! 6

Myrkrarfar: A great example of the fact that good musicianship (and absolutely fucking awesome soloing by Per Nilsson) and great vocals don’t matter much when the songwriting is formulaic and repetitive. 5

Ziv: It’s come to a point where bad Teutonic power metal sounds better than all this prog shit saturating the “metal” music genre. 5

Aggressor: Here is the return of the power metal knights / it sure sounds like the same ol’ Nocturnal Rites / The melodies are catchy and there is a lot of hooks / this one gets “approved”, at least in my own book. 8

Enslaved: E


Habakuk: I wish I could say something positive here, but nah. A bit bland. 6

Myrkrarfar: I’m feeling the same about Enslaved’s prog parts as I’ve done for two decades: they’re pretty nice and moderately groovy, but there are no hooks to keep you interested. It’s just pure background plod. Melodies, man, MELODIES!!! Unluckily, the blacker parts have recessed as well, having declined to mere chordal pumping with shrieks on top. Riffs, man, RIFFS!!! Not good, Bergen boys. Why you get heralded so much is, nowadays, beyond me. 5

Ziv: Everything up to “Frost” rules. The rest not so much. 6

Aggressor: This sure is experimental, and even very Ghosty at parts / and often it sounds like they try to make some finer arts / Most important, the black metal is not completely gone / but is there some kind of trend with wind instruments going on? 5

Monolord: Rust


Habakuk: I could probably listen to this for a few hours and not notice, in a good way. 6

Myrkrarfar: These riffy stoner doom bands…even when they’re decent, there’s no way to tell them apart. Especially when the vocals are generic, FX-tinged and more monotonous than your mom last night. 6

Ziv: I used to love this style of stoner muzak. Now thanks to bands like Monolord I steer away from it. 5

Aggressor: These guys make reason for their name / All the songs to me sound kinda the same / Everything is pretty monotone / Even the damn guitar tone 4

Trivium: The Sin and the Sentence


Habakuk: I’m getting a curious Mastodon vibe here at times, albeit overproduced and mixed with less other, effective influences. I cannot recall being somewhat impressed by Trivium before. 7

Myrkrarfar: Volbeat decided to go full-on gay and play metalcore, of course with a triggered and compressed drum sound. Apparently they are called Trivium now. 3

Ziv: Bleached mainstream metal for the food court metal heads shopping at Hot Topics. 3

Aggressor: For being a modern metal band I must say / this is not the most hurtful for my ears to play / The clean vocals and melody lines are dull as fuck / but the actual songs don’t completely suck 6

The Black Dahlia Murder: Nightbringers


Habakuk: There is too much going on for my cranky old ears here. 4

Myrkrarfar: Br00tal melodic deff metülz. Nuttin’ speciell. 5

Ziv: The shitty vocals remind me of Dani Filth’s shitty vocals. This is one band I’ve always passed over and will continue to do so. 4

Aggressor: Some of the riffs save it from being totally lame / ‘cause for the most, it all sounds kinda the same / Ok, that was a bit harsh, but it is that time of year / when everything you write has to rhyme, oh dear… 6

August Burns Red: Phantom Anthem


Habakuk: Yep, we are definitely in Three Word Name country here. I can say this is above that average. 5

Myrkrarfar: As far as metalcore goes, this is pretty fucking competent. Strong melodies and imaginative arrangements can take you pretty far. Too bad “far” in metalcore is about the distance from munching on excrement in the coprophagist pit to standing in the corner, contemplating your life choices (i.e. playing metalcore) and why breakdowns exist. 5

Ziv: The first track is deceptively ok. But that’s the first track. The rest is pretty much what you’d expect from a band called August Burns Red. 4

Aggressor: My December turd is red / my sphincter has turned blue / after listening to this shit / through the window this record flew 3

Ne Obliviscaris: Um


Habakuk: I googled that for you: – strong contender for the most interesting thing about this band. 5

Myrkrarfar: A clear but dull production doesn’t help the fact that this pretentious extreme prog lacks character and emotional depth. 5

Ziv: Vapid extreme prog metal that straight away makes you wonder why you listen to music at all. 2

Aggressor: Viomalins, jazzy drums and twenty different vocal styles / all pretentious clichés for a progressive metal band in a big heap piles / Cram everything in, don’t bother to actually write some songs / In the bland mass of mediocre prog band this belongs 4

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