Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Right from the onset of band's 8th slab you can hear the difference , as this one carries a much cleaner sound.The Brits have stepped up their game in terms of quality, though the almost djent like elements of the opening piece might puzzle some hard core black metal fans who prefer the band's earlier. But in terms of growth where would they been if they just listened to fan who wanted them to remake "the Codex Necro" again and again.
"Unleash'' is the aftershock of the opener. Blending black metal chaos with Emperor like clean singing. At some points this combination almost comes across more like Strapping Young Lad, as there are more commercial and industrial elements, that could push these guys through into more mainstream metal audiences. Their is almost a Slipknot feel to "Monstrum in Animo". The more sweeping black metal passage sorts this out, but the hammer of the double bass and how tightly it's dialed in does create a more mall mall sound. However if this is mall metal it's being done right.
" The One Thing Needful" plunges you into a whirlwind of spastic blackened metal. They have long abandoned worrying about if they are black metal enough or not, the Emperor worship is the only that really burns that dark flame, as we have breakdown and epic guitar runs galore coming in from every angle. A "beautiful People" like industrial pound opens up "A Firm Foundation of Unyielding Despair", but aside from the break of mega phone spoken vocals it begun to sound like the song before it.And thus begins the ritualistic flogging of the dead horse. The title track has some variance in the riff , but it comes at you foaming at the mouth in an all too familiar fashion. The song builds to a warp speed momentum and loses all sense of dynamics as it hurtles by you faster than you are able to take it what is going on, and perhaps the reason for this is that there is not much in terms of originality, this could be one of a thousand bands. The songs reflect this in the fact that they are all roughly under the four minute mark.
We stay on similar grounds for "Idol". The pacing is almost identical to other songs, and the hooks on the clean vocals are beginning to run together as well. There is more of a Motorhead barrelling to "Of Maggots and Humanity" this is interspersed with the chaos of the other songs. The Slipknot feeling begins to slip up on me again. There are some pretty catchy riffs on this one, but Slipknot has some of those as well. The "Joystream" blast off maybe even faster than some of the other songs on here, though the melody in the pound of the verse is more solid than some of the other songs, the almost Chino like screams are a little bit of a turn off.
"Rage and Red" finds us back to any other song on here. The squeals around the edges , the insane drums that would be more impressive if I heard them carry a more memorable groove sometime. They consistently throw the kitchen sink at you here and some people might be into that sort of thing, while I prefer songs . This point in the album it is clearly masturbatory The final song is slightly more black metal and throws a little less at you like the auditory cluster fuck that makes up the bulk of the album.
Even for all of it's flaws in the song writing department, the execution and big sound that they have put together can not be denied, so this album gets an 8, even though I personally don't see myself listening to this on a regular basis, though it has been on the bulk of the afternoon, while I have been working on this so , who knows, brace yourself if you are a long time fan as it's a step closer to the mainstream, but on their own terms.