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Global Domination | Audio Autopsy | Audio Autopsy - April 2006

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Audio autopsy

Audio Autopsy - April 2006

01/04/06  ||  Global Domination

Scar Symmetry: Pitch black progress Scar Symmetry: Pitch black progress

7.6 /10

Lord K: It’s a shame Scar Symmetry uses Dan Swanö-like clean singing (even though they sound great) all over this album coz they would be much better with the excellent growls only. No matter what, this is catchy and it’s good despite the apparent cheese-factor at times. A pleasant suprise it is, and this one is definitely this round’s winner for me. 8

Ripper Bendix: Hey guys! We sound just like anybody else! 4

The Abyss: The fact that the rest of this month’s AA pretty much sucked camel-hump only reinforces the dominance of Scar Symmetry. The few objections I had on their debut album is now all but gone and I find myself replaying “The Illusionist” and “Dreaming 24/7” over and over and over again. Melodic death with godlike vocals (both clean and growls). 9

Desert Eagle: Color me impressed. Their last album showed potential and now this new album meets and exceeds it. They cranked this out in less than a year too. Wow. If this doesn’t win this AA I’m going to shit on someone. 9

Syrrok: This album is everything I loved about their first album, only MORE. Awesome production, awesome song writing, awesome guitar work, and fierce vocals. 8

Sinister: Afterburner Sinister: Afterburner

5.8 /10

Lord K: I was impressed by these guys when I saw them in Holland while I was touring with Vomitory. They were better live than on this album though. Well-executed death metal, but there’s so much better shit out there. Sinister are just one band among many. 6

Ripper Bendix: I totally lost track of this band several years ago. I know a woman once sang for them though and that’s it.
It’s not like I totally get blown to pieces by this, but it sure is nice to shake your fist at and drink a couple of beers to, or something. 7

The Abyss: I used to think that Sinister’s only interesting point was that the growls were handled by a woman. Ironically enough they got the songwriting together after Rachel had been replaced by a guy. This stuff is far from revolutionary but at least it’s not as yawn-inducing as their old material. 4

Desert Eagle: True story: the bassist of Sinister once killed and ate a puppy in front of a widow-orphan. He then drank her tears. Ok, maybe that’s not true. What’s also not true is that I enjoyed this. Because I didn’t. It’s ok technical death grind brutal sludge vomit. 6

Syrrok: Fuck, I’m down with this shit! Hockey warm-up music for sure. This is some great balls-out heavy metal with milky groovability. I think that if they lessened up on the guitar-foibles a bit this album could be even more fierce (“foibles” isn’t even a word, yet you know exactly what I’m talking about when I write it). Like Red Bull and vodka-drinks, this band is totally unnecessary towards the evolution of metal, but they still crush your ass. 6

Evergrey: Monday morning apocalypse Evergrey: Monday morning apocalypse

5.4 /10

Lord K: I have started to appreciate Evergrey alot over the years. Top-notch musicians and very catchy tunes together with the very charismatic voice of Tom can be nothing but real fucken good, despite the mandatory Evergrey-cheese every now and then. Coz fuck knows Evergrey can make cheese with the best of them. 7

Ripper Bendix: It’s not Monday right now, but Wednesday. And the apocalypse is a long fucken distance away. The only thing REALLY close to me is the fucken sandman making me fall asleep, dreaming of Staind. 5

The Abyss: I’ve always hated this band and never understood why so many people jerked of Tom Englund in every review and interview. Evergrey, just like Nevermore, has never spoken to me. This time around they’re musically a bit more simplistic and Englund’s finally got his annyoing vibrato under control, but still I find that the band sucks. 2

Desert Eagle: I’m a little disappointed. “The Inner Circle” was great and “Recreation Day” was absolutely amazing. This one is simply good. Sounds more like rock here with very few standout performances. 7

Syrrok: This album is excellent listening for friends whom you are trying to break into metal. Nothing too scary but still rather intense. Intense in the form of the production and atmospheric elements. I still don’t enjoy how much make-up this band wears. I heard a rumor somewhere that their bass player likes playing in another band more… just a rumor I’m sure. Good compositions in the Evergrey-tradition, and as long as Tom (that’s the lead singer right?) keeps breaking up with girlfriends then Evergrey will continue to pump out the albums. 6

Kalmah: The black waltz Kalmah: The black waltz

5 /10

Lord K: Swedish-sounding metal with so much cheesy (yes, I use that word alot coz it describes the feeling so well, piss off) melodies they are close to being a part of the Eurovision Song Contest at times. Not especially heavy nor good and I’m not impressed. 4

Ripper Bendix: It all began so well until that fucken keyboard came and propelled me right into the Italian power metal vortex, BUT, that impression was thankfully pretty wrong. Kalmah are a conglomerate of various styles, all of them heavy, some of them sweet as fucken candy. The overall impression is that of a bastard breed between Amorphis, TPH and an ice-cream truck full of rusty thumbtacks. Heavy shit and poppy shit is kinda layered over each other, sugar-coating something that shouldn’t have been sugarcoated in the first place. Kinda like a porterhouse-steak with maple syrup. Without the keyboards I’d like this much, much better. 6

The Abyss: I got this band mixed up with Swedish death metal-killers Kaamos. Imagine my dissapointment when what I got was not a bloody death metal-steak but a synthetic keyboard-laced quorn-filet with some brussel-sprouts on the side. Fuck brussel-sprouts and fuck Kalmah! 2

Desert Eagle: Thrashy with a lot of melody. The vocals are brutal as hell. 8

Syrrok: A strange mix of technical shit, moonlit-tower keyboards, and some black metal screaming that comes together in solid fashion. Gutiaristry abound in trashy forms with backlaid melodic leads, cross that one off the Syrrok-checklist. This stuff has been done many times before, but usually not as well. Cheers and mead. 5

Gory Blister: Skymorphosis Gory Blister: Skymorphosis

5/10

Lord K: Imagine waking up extremely hungover without Ibuprofen’s. That feeling applies to this album. And don’t let the moniker fool you, this is not gory at all. All decent though, not more and not less. 5

Ripper Bendix: I actually expected some mediocre death metal band with pig vocals but recieved a neo-thrashy combo that’s somewhere between really cool and ridiculously hectic. This is not death metal as stated on their website, though. Seriously, if I hadn’t read up on the band and learned that they’ve been around for over ten years I would’ve been convinced that they are “one of those bands” that are kinda hard-ish, metal-ish and get airtime on TV. Nevertheless, this is cool stuff, mostly. 7

The Abyss: I’m not sure what to call this band. The name implies goregrind, the vocalist sounds quite thrash and the music are equal parts heavy metal-leads and death metal-riffing. Is this even good? I don’t know, at least the music didn’t make me cringe as much as I initially feared. 4

Desert Eagle: I really could go on all day about how bad their band name is but I’ll spare you. All I’ll say is that the music doesn’t really make up for the awful name. 5

Syrrok: I absolutely loved the drums on this album, both in sound and the choices made by the dude in the song. The drumming proves to be a saving grace on some of the tunes, as the vocals nor the moniker contribute to dick. Some flashy guitar tricks here and there, even in the beginning of songs which I hate most of the time but they pull it off. Have I mentioned what a stupid moniker they have? 4

Darkthrone: The cult is alive Darkthrone: The cult is alive

4.8 /10

Lord K: I still prefer “Soulside journey” to anything Darkthrone’s done. But this one definitely has its moments and it’s alot better than what I expected. I don’t know how trve, grim and necro this is though. 6

Ripper Bendix: When exactly did Darkthrone start to rock? I am fucken crestfallen here because I always hated Darkthrone with a passion and now find myself nodding my head and rocking the shit out to this punkrocky, throatachy thing. The obvious Motörhead-influences are all over the press right now so I don’t have to go into detail here, but having a Black Metal icon like Nocturnal Cultörhead – sorry – Culto sing about whiskey and graveyard sluts and whatnot sure IS fucking wizard. It’ll take a while until I’ll get that fucking shiteating grin off my face and I am seriously contemplating giving their back catalogue a second chance. Well done, this is fucken FUN! 8

The Abyss: Less black metal, more Motörhead-punk. While I like the snotty attitude and LOVE the disrespectful lyrics, I think the groove and aggression of the older albums served the band better. It’s not bad per se but it’s no “Sjakk matt Jesu Krist”. 5

Desert Eagle: I was under the impression that Darkthrone was cvlt black metal. SO WHY THE FUCK IS THIS PUNK? Fuck this too! 2

Syrrok: Is this band supposed to be originators of a genre or carriers of the true throne of black metal? Some of those labels truly confuse me, this being one. Black metal? Try old man black metal, rock’n’roll fellatio-festival. I can feel this stuff in a “sorta” kinda way, but it brings nothing in the way of the nostalgia people tend to associate with this band. Maybe a nice image and history, but not a nice new album. 3

Ministry: Rio grande bloods Ministry: Rio grande blood

4.8 /10

Lord K: I never cared for Ministry. And I’m continuing in that fashion. They do what they do, they sound like they always did, and they bore me to the core. 4

Ripper Bendix: What do you get when you put a once-great band and a musical has-been un-person in a blender? A Ministry-album. Hey, nothing against speaking up and stating your opinion about your government (Ministry ARE american, aren’t they? That makes them MUCH better than most Bush-bashers already) but I am more than confident that it is very possible to achieve something without the crowbar-cramming-my-view-down-your-throat method, and besides that, politics don’t belong in fucken music. Period! Taking some samples of Bush speeches and combining them into something funny sure tickles my funny bone, but nevertheless, the whole “OMGWTF!? Bush is teh evül” and “OMFG! We got Jello Biafra LOL!”-schtick is getting on my fucken nuts. The muusic is fucken great though. Brutality galore, just the way I like it. Hee Haw. 7

The Abyss: There seems to be something about Ministry and republican presidents, but who am I to complain when the band releases one of their strongest albums ever? Some of these songs could easily measure up to “Just one fix” or “NWO”. 7

Desert Eagle: I appreciate the sentiment, really, I do. But god damn is the music ever horrible… Maybe this dude should just do speeches or something… 2

Syrrok: Having never been a fan of this band I was expecting the worst. For fucks sake, the ‘chuggas’ on some of the tracks rocked my nuts to the floor. Ministry is like the trash that refuses to be taken out for good, still leaving a stench that sucks ass but sometimes you still see some old pizza that is still salvagable. With this effort, although decent, I think they should wrap things up. 4

Psycroptic: Symbols of failure Psycroptic: Symbols of failure

4.8 /10

Lord K: There we go, finally something else that catches my interest in this round. Technical death metal executed by the best of them. The drums alone makes listening to this worthwhile. These guys are talented and quite groovy on top of it all. 7

Ripper Bendix: Guitar wanking + sewing-machine drums = me trying to keep my fucken nerves together. 4

The Abyss: Technical death from some kind of exotic island that noone cares about. They got the chops but the vocals are supremely boring and the songs need alot better and more memorable riffs to keep this reviewers interest. I’ll check back in 2 albums time. 5

Desert Eagle: I’m pretty flaccid right now. Usually this kind of technical stuff excites me but this is kind of boring. Nothing really memorable but still decent. 6

Syrrok: I grab a few very poignant In Battle-vibes from these guys. Unfortunately they don’t pull it off as well in the song-writing category. This herky-jerky shit always drives me up a wall. Where’s the groove fellas? If these guys played a free concert on my lawn I’d close the door and call the cops. 2

Bal-Sagoth: The chtonic chronicles Bal-Sagoth: The chtonic chronicles

4.2 /10

Lord K: I think of swords, costumes, power metal and man-love when I hear the name Bal-Sagoth. There’s nothing power metal-ish about these guys though. They use some weird orchestrations and aren’t exactly composing songs the way I would. The drum-machine (it can’t be anything else) sounds completely penis. If it’s not a drum-machine, it’s the worst drumsound I ever heard. And then the drummer is a walking penis for using it. 6

Ripper Bendix: Okay, the blah-blah voiceover gets right on my fucken nerves, as does the cheap-o Bontempi-trumpet and the fucking Bugs Bunny™ drums. This album would be much better without all of the previously mentioned shit because all the good riffs (with nifty inverted chords and shit, duuuude!) are basically buried under it. Naaaah, NEXT! 5

The Abyss: Seldomdly have I laughed as much as when I heard this album. Jesus Christ on a LSD-trip, what the fuck are these guys on? Whatever it is, it’s the most pretentious crap I’ve ever heard. Even Manowar would be ashamed of those spoken passages. 1

Desert Eagle: As I liseneth to Bal-Sagoth methinks of yonder days of yore and lore. Verily times were truer than thou thus untruest of incorrigible times. Yea, we shant maketh fun of this band for their obsessioneth with thon lore. They knowest not better. Tis good music at least. 7

Syrrok: It appears the tower of power is open again, forging forth with winds, alchemy, wizardry, and fantasy-metal. Ball-sacketh bring nothing you couldn’t get at a 15 yr old’s MMORPG party. %100 shit. 2

Opposition Party: Zombified Opposition Party: Zombified

4.2 /10

Lord K: I don’t even know where to start… There’s nothing remotely “party” about this. Thanx for the incredibly shitty vocals. And while I’m at it, thanx for the incredibly shitty music as well. Fuck off. 2

Ripper Bendix: Remember that one night in the pub when this huge-ass hulking smelly bastard pushed you over and kicked your gums into the curb? Well he’s back and founded a fucken band. This shit reminds me of soccer riots, knuckles, bleeding noses and ad-hoc violence. Do I like it? Fuck yeh I do! 6

The Abyss: Some kind of thrash-band with an 80’s Anthrax-like vibe. Good riffs, both guitars and bass in particular, and I like the slightly strained vocals. “Ignorance” probably has the best opening groove since… well, Witchery’s “Plague rider” in last months AA. 6

Desert Eagle: Can someone tell me why this edition is infested with punk? This is goddamned oi! punk! WTF MAN?! 2

Syrrok: I’m surprised that Lemmy signed up to be a part of this project. This album sounds like a more technical version of a Motörhead album, and that ain’t all that bad. Some of the shit absolutely annoys the hell out of me (unpolished guitars, too-punkish singing), but this is a fun one to turn up really fucken loud. These guys should go on tour with Betty Blowtorch and I don’t even know why. 5

St. Hood: Sanctified St. Hood: Sanctified

4 /10

Lord K: Hardcore-ish metal that’s as interesting as the fucken birth of a monkey-baby. 3

Ripper Bendix: Doesn’t stick out, doesn’t make an impression and it sounds like 1000 other bands. 4

The Abyss: This is hardcore, and not the good kind. 2

Desert Eagle: Pretty basic core-y stuff here. Um, yeah, K hates it I’m sure. It’s ok. 5

Syrrok: I’m ‘ok’ with these guys. It breaks my heart that the vocals ruin things, because the potential behind the music is as strong as Hillary Duff’s pornstar-potential. Suicidal Tendencies on speed is a way I would describe this band. Definitely the better of AA-bands, and with some vocal adjustments I might even purchase some shit from em’. 6

Incarnated: Pleasure of consumption Incarnated: Pleasure of consumption

3.2 /10

Lord K: Man, go away. I hate you and yer silly, pointless, death metal. I’m probably overrating this crap. 2

Ripper Bendix: The guitars on this fucker sound almost exactly like on Entombed’s “Left Hand Path” album – just without the clarity and the ability to make out single notes without straining your ears so much that you get a fucken migraine. The vocals are extremely inaudible and sounds like the singer recorded them at home with a cheapo Lidl microphone covered with a coffeefilter (which is a good trick btw. Write that down!). I think the chorus of the first song is “Spongebooooooooob! Spongebooooooooob!”. 2

The Abyss: Incarnated must be a fairly rich band since they obviously spent no money whatsoever on recording or production, so I just assume they kept the advance-moeny for themselves. Shitty sound aside, this is standard br00tal death. Nothing special but they have their (very brief) moments. 4

Desert Eagle: This shit is raw, fucken rawer than the cow you didn’t even eat yet because it wasn’t born and cut into delicious meat-steaks yet. I’m kind of digging it too. 7

Syrrok: I don’t like ‘grind’ shit at all. Nothing this band does changed my mind about that mantra. 1

Sathanas: Entering the diabolic trinity Sathanas: Entering the diabolic trinity

2.8 /10

Lord K: I rather nail my penis to the floor than listen to this shit ever again. 2

Ripper Bendix: Occasionally this stuff sounds like an old Swedish Metal demo from the 80’s. Quite okay, but nothing I’d give more than a couple of half-hearted spins. 5

The Abyss: Black metal of the simplistic kind is pretty hit-and-miss; for every Bathory you get 10 bands with more corpsepaint than talent. Sathanas lands somewhere in between. They lock into a great groove sometimes but other times they just get stuck in bland-riff hell (or heaven?). I would never ever pay for this but I can’t say I hate it. 4

Desert Eagle: Here’s a little exercise: Take out the a’s and the h in the band name. Add in a bunch of blanks so it looks like this Sn——-st. That describes the band perfectly, it’s amazing. 2

Syrrok: Here we go again with some dime-a-dozen wannabe satanic, fuzzy-guitars-fish-wrapped-black-metal-garbage. 1

Venom: Metal black Venom: Metal black

2.4 /10

Lord K: Venom should have fucked off 25 years ago. 2

Ripper Bendix: Un-fucken-believable! This band has been around since ‘78 and still sounds like a fucken garage-combo. You can’t live on a legend alone, ya know? This is shit! Goodnight. Or better, night good? 2

The Abyss: It must suck being living legends. Nothing you do can top the performances of old. Still, Venom’s last album “Resurrection” was quite good and I found myself digging maybe half the album. Sadly, much of that regained respect is now gone with “Metal black”. The songs may have some nice hooks here and there but overall the duds far outweigh the goldnuggets. 4

Desert Eagle: Hey, Venom is still around? Good for them! Bad for me! 2

Syrrok: Old band giving it all they got. This album REEKS black jeans and 1986. This is fun for nostalgia freaks, but not for Syrrok. 2

Queensrÿche: Operation mindcrime II Queensrÿche: Operation mindcrime II

1.4 /10

Lord K: Oh man, what the fuck happened here? Never, ever, try to re-create a classic. It always fails. You can add this album to the list of shitty follow-up’s along with Helloween’s “Keeper 3”. Thanx for destroying the first part of the story with this shit. Scream with me: ” – I hate ! Geoff Tate! ”. But I don’t, it was a good rhyme though. And it was definitely alot better than the shit on here, and that says it all. 2

Ripper Bendix: Publicity stunt of the year? Milestone in prog- rock? Or just plain old boring? I pick the latter one. 1

The Abyss: This travesty of a follow-up (to a classic) should never have been done. 2

Desert Eagle: An abomination. This shit is dead to me. Long live “Operation Mindcrime 1”! 1

Syrrok: You guys know I wanted to love this album. It sucks. There’s nothing more to say. I can’t even kid myself and say things like, “Total metal! Dio guest-starring! Nostalgia” and all that shit. To think of it, I don’t think I have ever liked Queensrÿche, but they’re fun as fuck to talk about for some reason. Politics, bullshit songs, gay singing, and a “concept” album whose concept I can’t even understand. 1