Audio Autopsy – March 2018

Audio Autopsy – March 2018

01/03/18  ||  Global Domination

Watain: Trident Wolf Eclipse


Habakuk: Nothing new under the sun, but it now has a trident inside it. 7

Myrkrarfar: Too big to be trve, Watain spit in your face and pummel the infidels with rabid yet epic black metal of the finest kind. “The Wild Hunt” was a downer compared to “Lawless Darkness”, but this one rights the ship and incorporates the more chaotic and fervent sound of Watain’s earliest records with the magniloquence of later days, creating a masterpiece that challenges their finest hours. 9

Ziv: Wanting to get back their black metal cred, Watain return to their roots with one of their better albums in a while. 8

Aggressor: Take three cool words and randomly slap them on the cover; yeah, now we have a cool title. Music-wise it’s full speed ahead, but it would have been nice to have some memorable hooks to hold on to. 6

Tribulation: Down Below


Habakuk: These are talented guys, but they never fully won me over after departing from the style of “The horror”. 7

Myrkrarfar: This band really is one of a kind. Twisting and turning inside the metal and rock cosmos, Tribulation infuse their sound with Dissection harmonies, an infectuous rock n’ roll drive, goth rock aesthetics and horror movie ambience. That main riff from “Nightbound” is an earworm of gigantic proportions. 8

Ziv: Continuing down the path carved by its predecessor, “Down Below” is not as immediate musically. Given some time it reveals its beauty and lush atmosphere. 8

Aggressor: My mind is drifting off to Dark Tranquillity’s “Atoma” – with this radio friendly melo-death that could not hurt a fly. Pleasant but without much of an edge. 6

Hooded Menace: Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed


Habakuk: Decent, but a bit too little menace under the hood. 6

Myrkrarfar: Slimy death/doom with eerie melodies and harmonies reminiscent of early Opeth, Katatonia and Dismember. Even though most songs took a couple of minutes to convince me of their excellence, the effect turned out to be permanent. 8

Ziv: With Lasse’s outlandish growls gone, Hooded Menace has luckily decided to concentrate on the music. No longer unique but still very very good. 8

Aggressor: Great moody guitar melodies, but a wee bit too slow. 5

Corrosion of Conformity: No Cross No Crown


Habakuk: Solid shit, but nothing new. To everyone familiar with the olden times of Domination, that spells a 7.

Myrkrarfar: Stoner thrash with some songwriting qualities yet permeated by a most annoying overuse of effects on vocals and guitars. No cross, no crown, no boner. 5

Ziv: A welcome return to form, especially now that Pepper Keenan is back in the fold. BLS take note, this is how it’s done. Still this all sounds ten years too late. 7

Aggressor: Almost every song has one influence of a different 70’s band. Sometimes it’s ZZ Top sometimes Thin Lizzy. And did someone say fuzz? 8

Summoning: With Doom We Come



Myrkrarfar: “Old Mornings Dawn” was great, and this is more of the same. Everyone hails “Let Mortal Heroes Lick Your Dame” and “Oath Bound and Gagged” as some kind of pinnacles to their career, whereas I find those two boring and one-dimensional compared to their 90’s output. These two newest ones really resonate deeper with my chakras and bring me to joyous eruptions time and time again. 8

Ziv: Has anyone ever taken this dungeon synth/black metal Tolkien worship seriously? This sounds so cheap, like a lost 80s barbarian b movie soundtrack with an orc screaming over it. 4

Aggressor: Epic, melancholic, and heavily atmospheric music that seems to forebode the inevitable doom. Very much like the masterful compositions by horror soundtrack master Fabio Frizzi. 8

Shining: X – Varg utan flock


Habakuk: A “suicidal” black metal band with their TENTH album – I’m not buying it (in any way). 6

Myrkrarfar: Nope, sorry. The production’s too clear, and I’m not sold on the vocals. The malevolent ambience is missing, as are the striking hits Niklas & co have pulled off in the past. I wouldn’t say this sounds uninspired, but some of the heartfelt passion and intense vehemence of old is missing. 5

Ziv: At times brilliant and other times just insipid, Shining remains a very frustrating band that like its front is always sabotaging something close to brilliance. 7

Aggressor: It’s kind of fascinating how diverse and easily digested I found this to be for a band that apparently is labeled as black metal. It’s often very radio rockish and the vocals are very often not your typical black metal shrieking. 7

Abigor: Höllenzwang (Chronicles of Perdition)


Habakuk: Get out of here. 4

Myrkrarfar: The riffing is a little bit too chaotic for my strongest affection, but both the arrangements and execution are extremely immediate and punchy, which helps. As do repeat listens; “Höllenzwang” certainly has all the makings of a grower. 7

Ziv: Modern day Abigor is a dense musical affair, requiring patience and close listening to fully grasp its meaning. “Höllenzwang” is an aural black trip that sonically punishes you and then some. Good to hear that there’s still truly ugly sounding black metal out there counterbalancing all of that polished hipster shit. 8

Aggressor: There are some cool riffs and so here, but it’s a bit too chaotic for me to fully enjoy. 5

Black Label Society: Grimmest Hits


Habakuk: Something about them never made me check them out – but this oozes Sabbath at times (“Disbelief”), and that can’t be all bad. 7

Myrkrarfar: The riffage, solos and vocal delivery are all solid. The 90’s tinged rock ballad vibe is sweet, but Zakk lakks the flair and skill to pull off the country/southern ballads well enough for me to not give him some flakk. Sorry. All in all this is a solid record, and much better than the one before. 7

Ziv: Grim sounding unadventurous prime beef USofmuthafuckingA (that’s right stars and stripes forever dawg) stoner dude metal. Perfect as background muzak to swill cold brews with my bra’ Chad. On second thought I’d rather go vegan and drink kombucha. Namaste. 4

Aggressor: Music can’t sound more ‘murican than this, like BLS have always sounded, but the songwriting is on the more tired side …and sure there will be no confusion about this being some greatest hits album… 6

Orphaned Land: Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs


Habakuk: When you describe their sound, it sounds like Nile, but it doesn’t. 6

Myrkrarfar: As groovy as it is to visit the Orphaned Land once in a while and immerse oneself in its oriental folk metal glory, the plodding mid-tempos and lack of intensity make me count the days to my departure. 6

Ziv: Vapid “middle eastern” AOR prog METAL with absolutely zero edge to it. 3

Aggressor: A wonderful melting pot of oriental progressiveness with strong, melancholic and heart-tearing melodies, and Hansi Kürsch doing what he does best: making guest appearances. 8

Portal: ION


Habakuk: Sorry guys, studio is cancelled for today. Phil Anselmo called, he needs the recording toaster with the Illegals. 6

Myrkrarfar: Yah, dey be slayin deyr instrahments n saxomaphonz n shizzle, buh songz dey no haz. 5

Ziv: ION is Portal’s “pop” album. It’s uneasy listening where you can actually hear what’s going on musically. 8

Aggressor: If someone would come up to me with a guitar and say “play as fast as you can”, this is probably what it would sound like. 4

Arkona: Khram


Habakuk: This receives this month’s “to be investigated further” award for black / death with an actually cool melodic tinge. 7

Myrkrarfar: I too adore the way Arnold/Conan pronounced “Crom” in the 1984 classic, but to name an album after it? Well, why the fuck not. Also, this atmospheric folk pagan blackish metal sports character but lacks immediacy. 6

Ziv: Dubious Russian pagan metal with questionable musical and esthetical tastes. 4

Aggressor: In swedish “khram” (or “kram” actually) means “hug”. This album is kind of like a hug that goes on for too long. This ethno metal is nice at most, but it drags after a while. 6

Accu§er: The Mastery


Habakuk: O…kay, I guess? Just saying, they have “Who dominates who?” as well. 6

Myrkrarfar: In one ear, out the other. 5

Ziv: This classic second division Teutonic thrash band’s newbie is well worth a few spins. Nothing new under the sun, but still moderately enjoyable, despite the moronic lyrics. 6

Aggressor: These guys with an error message of a band name have made a couple of headnodders on this album, but nothing that really sticks. 5

Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals: Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue


Habakuk: One thing Phil Anselmo cannot be accused of with this is selling out. This is a filthy-sounding, nasty, unmarketable demo tape, essentially – but I kinda like it! 8

Myrkrarfar: Marginally better than the shitfest that was their debut. 3

Ziv: If you want to hear Anselmo’s not so great vocalizations over a medley of Goatwhore and Cephalic Carnage riffs be my guest. 6

Aggressor: I don’t know what the hell Phil is doing…or the guitarist. Doesn’t seem to be music at least. 1

Machine Head: Catharsis


Habakuk: I would like to continue my “Vio-lence, Vio-Lence!” chant from last time. Really guys, a Soulfly copy? 2

Myrkrarfar: Slipknot goes emopop. Let’s fucking not. 2

Ziv: This is some unsurprisingly dreadful shit. Not that I care. Never liked the band. 2

Aggressor: Rob Flynn is pissed off, and that is a good thing. There’s a couple of real bangers on this one and “Bastards” is a great folk-inspired protest song. 8

Anvil: Pounding the Pavement


Habakuk: “Pounding the pavement” – like a full horde of pedestrians. 4

Myrkrarfar: Who likes Lemmy? Everyone, right. Who wants to hear an incompetent attempt at picking up the torch by a has-been band that never really were anything more than a novelty act lacking finesse and songwriting skill? No one? Right. 3

Ziv: Tired, washed up, uninspired and lyrically puerile, it might be time to call it a day guys. For everyone’s sake. 2

Aggressor: You could almost bring this album to your next visit to the cinema, that’s how much corniness there is here. Some of it is quite enjoyable, like the funny riffs, or the ridiculously cliché lyrics. Other stuff is just weird, like the cringe-worthy choir arrangements. 5

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