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Global Domination | Audio Autopsy | Audio Autopsy - December 2008

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Audio autopsy

Audio Autopsy - December 2008

01/12/08  ||  Global Domination

Deathchain: Death eternal Deathchain: Death eternal


Lord K: Deathchain can be compared to a bulldozer of Polish and American origin, ready to roll down the streets with no specific target in size. Meaning they set out on firing their lethal ammunition any direction they can, not caring for shit about eventual innocent casualties. I’ll gladly be a target. Fire away, cunts. 8

Kampfar: Deathchain hails from Finland and performs a rather relentless variant of death/thrash. And they do it well. 7

The Duff: Some good black/death; I approve very muchly, but you’ve probably heard this from many other bands. Still, all very well executed, some talented musicians indeed. The score is mainly down to the band’s proficiency, as you can find better, but the guys have a very good grasp of the sub-genre. 8

Abyss: Another of Kai Jaakolas many bands and together with Deathbound this is definitely the strongest one. Very competent death/thrash with nice variation in both pace and riffs. I need to check out these guys’ previous albums. 7

Seker: Well, here’s a more modern and more convincing version of the whole black/thrash thing Darkthrone is doing. I guess I’ll give them another point. 5

Evocation: Dead calm chaos Evocation: Dead calm chaos


Lord K: So, Evocation prolly jack off to memories of Dismember (but hopefully not to ex-drummer Fred’s playing) while watching TV where a gay convention takes place, featuring A-mongo Amarth and a few members of Unleashed, on prime time. All this result in a (semen) load of catchy melodic death metal. And I dig it. 8

Kampfar: “Quality through and through, yet hardly offering a minute’s worth of mentionable material”, is all I care to write about Evocation and their fucking “Dead calm chaos”. 5

The Duff: Oh man. Intro, yeah baby! Makes me close to shutting down by the first track – you ain’t fucken Dissection, comprendeis amigos? Terrible, just terrible vocals, and the riffing is just as lame as the slow-leading to fuck all introduction. But then “Angel of Torment” kicks in, and I’m greeted with fine Swedish ol’ skool. Contributions by legends such as Dan Swanö? Should guarantee quality. Almost everything else here kicks ass; proper, sweet Swedish riffing, so I don’t know why they opened with the first two tracks; a bland moment here and there (in true Unleashed fashion), mainly the by numbers melodeath. So it is a: 7

Abyss: Death. Good, I like death. So does Evocation. They actually kick ass and sounds really good doing it. It’s just a shame they weren’t named Ewok-nation, how awesome wouldn’t that have been? Not really, since Ewoks are just gay sex-toys for Wookies to ass-fuck and further more… 7

Seker: Swedish death metal that isn’t original or good enough to make me take out the Grave CD from my CD player. It’s still reasonably well-done, and doesn’t seem terribly fake or contrived; just boring. 6

Bullet: Bite the bullet Bullet: Bite the bullet


Lord K: There’s not one single band in Sweden apart from Bullet that is recreating the days of old (Accept, AC/DC and the likes) with so much honesty and emotion. If you ever are about to hold a party and none of the giants of the 80’s can show up to play – book Bullet. Weird that the copies beat the originals in 2008. 8

Kampfar: Bullet sounds like a hybrid between AC/DC and UDO. Or was it Accept? Fuck it. 4

The Duff: The beginning is pure awesome; the rest? Well, I already have the new AC/DC, so reckon I’ve got my fill of easy-glide rock n’ roll, but this is actually very entertaining. I can’t deny this album’s fun factor, and the opening seconds on repeated listens still bring me out of the blues of having tugged it too many times today already and my little fella just not responding to encouragement. 8

Abyss: Considering how limp AC/DC made me you might be surprised that I actually like Bullet. But what separates the clone from the original is that Bullet has a bit more heavy metal in their rock n roll-cocktail, both musically and in the Udo + Brian Johnson-vocals. Still, half the album is pretty much a repetition of the other half. 5

Seker: Don’t need this generic heavy metal. Vocals piss me off, and the new AC/DC is better. 5

Memory Garden: Carnage carnival Memory Garden: Carnage carnival


Lord K: Alot of people have a beef with Stefan’s vocals. I think this is the kind of vocals that are supposed to be used for a band like this, so fuck you. The Candlemass of today could use a big shovel of Memory Garden’s asses… er, I mean composing talent. They fire up shitloads of groovy riffs and headbanging heaviness together with top notch musicianship and a nice production. What the fuck more can you ask for? Actually, alot of things, but Memory garden do not need them to compose very fine (doom) metal. Oh, and do not forget those fucken fantastic guitar solos. 8

Kampfar: The cover-art adorning “Carnage carnival” is fucking ace, the music isn’t, but if you happen to be a big fan of heavy metal/power metal I think you should give it a go. See, Memory Garden isn’t exactly free of talent, nor do they rave on about dragons and princesses, so I guess they are worthy some sort of recommendation. Nah, fuck off. 4

The Duff: Why is this one of the best albums in this Audio Autopsy edition? Don’t know what you would tag this, but it isn’t great. Quite a big Dream Theater vibe, so in buying this you’d probably get the Berklee-trained masters circa “Train of Thought”, but without the technical grace or the absolute know-how of how to structure a song. So, a second-tier Dream Theater without the experience meets Iced Earth. 5

Abyss: Heavy doom metal with emphasis on “heavy” on all parts except for the vocals. Something about Stefan Berglund’s voice irks me, something with the tone. Anyways, musically Memory Garden have definitely taken cues from Abstrakt Algebra and to some extent Candlemass. A hard album to judge, it’s most certainly not anything wrong with it, but it lacks that “I really need to listen to this. Now!”-element. 7

Seker: Candlemass imitation, huh? You don’t see that every day. The gay modern clean choruses have got to go, but the riffs are reasonably solid. 6

Thyrfing: Hels vite Thyrfing: Hels vite


Lord K: The day I care about Thyrfing is the day my penis is replaced by a black dwarf in a robe singing Limp Bizkit tunes every time I’m about to take a piss. I don’t even know what the fuck that means. 4

Kampfar: If you’ve never heard a band labeled viking metal perform proper fucking music before, give Thyrfing a go. 7

The Duff: I used to love this band back with “Urkraft” and “Vansinnesvisor”, but lost track of them afterwards; maybe I’ll chase down their immediate-past album on the strength of “Hels vite”. I always mistook Thyrfing as a band to release similar albums back to back, much like Amon Amarth, but there’s quite a bit of evolution on this record, with influences like Agalloch hitting you within the opening seconds. I miss the bombast Viking nature of earlier releases, things leaning more towards “teh epic”, and the band’s true gem remains “Vansinnesvisor”, but this is still a very strong release that would undoubtedly grow on me given time. 8

Abyss: The Swedish viking metallers have always been a hit or miss kind of band for me. Mostly they fail to impress me but every album has one or two homerun’s like “The Voyager” or “Jag spår fördärv”. On “Hels vite” the gold medal goes to “Griftefrid”, other than that the songs have become longer since Jens Rydén joined, but not necessarily more interesting. 6

Seker: No more folk metal for me thanks, I’m driving. Okay, fine, it’s not that bad, but nothing to write home about, and Bathory did it better the first time around. 5

Satyricon: The age of Nero Satyricon: The age of Nero


Lord K: So, this is what Satyricon sound like? At times they absolutely shine (listen to the start of “Black crow on a tombstone”), but for some reason they fail to grab me completely. I must say that Satyricon definitely sounded less than a vagina than I imagined even if we are not talking John Holmes balls here. The weak guitar sound and the somewhat muddy production is a drawback. 6

Kampfar: I haven’t been in love with a Satyricon album since “Rebel extravaganza”, but that could very well change speaking “The age of Nero”. Razor-sharp, clinic and cold, yet with soul a plenty, is my summary of this here fine disc. I already know I like it very much, just not sure if I love it yet. 8

The Duff: This is my first experience with Satyricon, not being a crazy BM nut. Apparently this is a return to form, but I can’t say I’m impressed; it’s sterile, which can be great, but unfortunately not a lot of the music is hitting me in the right spots. The repetitiveness sure isn’t helping; whereas some bands repeat riffs for the sake of ambiance and achieve their purpose gracefully, the whole deadened, almost mechanical feel of the songs nulls a great part of the music’s appeal. It’s a shame, because with the artwork, I wanted this effort to lure me into the Satyricon world; in the end, this isn’t something I’ll be playing at all in the future. 5

Abyss: I recently read an interview with Satyr and he seemed like an intelligent and proud individual, almost arrogant. He obviously was very proud of “ The Age of Nero” and certain it was a modern classic. Strangely many people seem to agree, people I usually have pegged as pretty clued-in. I just hear a continuation of the black’n‘roll introduced on “Volcano” and “Now, diabolical”. Over the years, the delivery seems to become more soulless as the songs become less catchy, leaving… nothing. 5

Seker: I am thoroughly offended by the fact that Satyricon deigned themselves worthy to call a track “Commando” without any hint of: a) dropping people off of cliffs b) eating green berets for breakfast c) throwing circular saws Snake Plissken style or d) letting off some steam Bennett. Other than that, it’s just boring mid-paced “black” metal with the name of a Roman emperor tacked onto it to give it a sense of weight and sophistication that it couldn’t achieve otherwise, seeing as it’s just a retread of “Now, Diabolical”. Poor Frost must be so bored with these drumbeats! 4

AC/DC: Black ice AC/DC: Black ice


Lord K: I absolutely love some of the early AC/DC albums. This one sounds just like all the 400 other AC/DC albums I never listen(ed) to. Still, it’s AC/DC, meaning it’s good no matter what. 6

Kampfar: What is there to say? Hmm, “Black Ice” is AC/DC through and through, only this time their music got a bit more blues to it than usual. I think. And think only, because I’m not the most avid fan this legendary band ever had. Very far from. Sure, I respect the fuck out of them, but that alone doesn’t make me dig their music very hard. And sure as hell not for a whooping 15 songs. Zzzzzz. 5

The Duff: Sounds like a proper AC/DC album to me, some good stuff, but I’ve never been a fan. I’ll give it a seven because it isn’t up to the standard of their great shit, but where a whole bunch of bands are releasing sub-par comeback albums or whatever else, AC/DC stay ahead of the pack by releasing exactly what fans expect of them – some decent rock tunes that aren’t particularly head-spinning. 7

Abyss:All’s the same in AC/DC-land and nothing new on the southern front. Kill me, please. 3

Seker: This was a good album. It’s not quite as good as some of their older stuff, but like the new Motörhead, it compares favorably to their back catalogue. It’s played with conviction and a general feel for what makes good music versus what makes good product, so it’s instantly better than most music out there. Whether or not that’s worth driving to Wal-Mart is another matter… 7

Cradle Of Filth: Godspeed on the devil's thunder Cradle Of Filth: Godspeed on the devil’s thunder


Lord K: What album is this? Number 14? 20? I wouldn’t fucken know, I never cared much for COF. The pigvocals are ofcourse present and irritating, but what catches my interest this time around is some of the phenomenal orchestrations. It sounds like the Cradle I have heard before and I guess that’s a good thing if you are into them. For me it’s just another band in my iPod who’s doing their thing real well, but it’s never making me a huge fan. 7

Kampfar: Cradle Of Filth is a quality orchestra with an ugly pretto-midget on vocals and in charge. 6

The Duff: I luuurve the album title. I’ve never been a fan of this band, the last disc I checked up on being “Nymphetamine”, but I reckon they’re talented, and probably on par with Dimmu Borgir, for whom I hold a great deal of admiration with all albums released prior to “Death Cult Armageddon”. Where the latter has become derivative, Cradle of Filth seem to be writing some very strong material. I’m surprised, especially considering they’ve been going for about fifteen years now. I can even tolerate Dani Filth’s vocals, but then he’s drastically reduced his high-pitched wailing. Very impressed by the orchestration on this disc, filling out the music as opposed to acting as a crutch to very watered down musicianship. 7

Abyss: Somehow Cradle of Frogs became the Darkthrone of satin ‘n’ lace-black metal, meaning they realized that punk is the new black metal, and decided to cram it into their original sound, awkward as it might be. Truth be told, the music has never been CoF’s problem, it is of course Dani’s horrendous vocals. He’s the Lars of Metallica, the Dave of Megadeth and the entire band of Trivium. The one member everyone hates but you just can’t get rid of him. 4

Seker: I don’t know why these guys are even called a black metal band: they’re just generic gothic music with some lifted Iron Maiden riffs. This sounds like most other Cradle of Filth albums, so take that as you will. 4

Pain: Cynic paradise Pain: Cynic paradise


Lord K: He sure got a talent for writing catchy shit, good ol’ Peter. I’m not completely sold on what Pain is delivering though. The material is too uneven. You know what this is about; semi-metal with sing-along choruses and a killer production. “Follow me” is a fucken great track though, made even better with the addition of the new Nightwish cumbucket. Hire her for more shit, Peter, you hear? 6

Kampfar: Peter is a hero, much like you aren’t, but “Cynic paradise” is nonetheless an album I’m likely to never spin again. It’s not bad per se, just a bit too eco-friendly for my cunt and I. Think recycled. 5

The Duff: So Peter Tägtgren strikes again, and once more the product is a mixed bag of good and goddamn awful. Overall, not a great effort, and I reckon a great deal of the positives are because the dude reminds me of Devin Townsend when shitting out a two tonne brick at times. The lyrics are very bad, and I’m surprised to say even the production isn’t up to what’s expected of the man. Yeah, can’t stretch it any further than a: 4

Abyss: Just when you think Peter Tägtgren has run his Pain as far as he can take it he comes back with another bag of surprises. In this case it comes in the form of Nightwish-singer Anette Olzon and country-slideguitars. The duet is a stroke of genius, it sounds like what Peter’s been missing all along is a strong(lunged) woman by his side. 7

Seker: Peter, you just put out a Pain album like last year, now get back to Hypocrisy. This isn’t bad though, just not my cup of electro-metal catchy pop tea. 5

Yngwie J. Malmsteen: Perpetual flame Yngwie J. Malmsteen: Perpetual flame


Lord K: It’s Yngwie. I should automatically give him a 10. Problem is that Yngwie lost his ability to write good songs some 25 years ago and apparently lost his production ears in the process. When was the last time Yngwie had a good production? 1953? He is still a legend in my book, thanx to the fantastic first albums, but being the world’s best guitarist doesn’t help when you can’t write songs anymore. Then again, it’s been his dilemma for most of his career. No matter what, I love Yngwie and he still deserves the given score below, ofcourse. But that album cover… Man… I’d fuck him in an instant for old times. Er… wait… That didn’t come out right. 5

Kampfar: Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck is supposedly a fantastic guitarist. And I don’t care. Neither do I care about this band of his, one playing not very fantastic heavy metal exactly. In fact, the only factor differing this lot from the rest of the shitty ilk is the at times excessive soloing courtesy of Yngwie “I can play with my hands on fire” Malmsteen. Fucking pathetic on par with his chest this. 3

The Duff: I don’t like Yngwie Malmsteen much, even though he’s a formidable player. Tthe only thing he’s played that, to be fair is mind-blowing, I consider enjoyable is the track “Black star”. The guy is just not much of a musician, despite all the theory he knows. Add to this the fact that he can’t play any of these techniques slowly, thereby automatically making me a better guitarist than him. And I can’t get all too excited about where he’s taking his music these days. 2

Abyss: For being an Yngwie-record there’s a surprising amount of actual songs here. There’s even vocals. Sure, there’s guitar-wank all over the walls and ceiling but none of it gets in your eye and blinds you. At least not in the sticky jizzy kinda way. 5

Seker: Well, this is Yngwie’s first album with a good singer in quite a while, and naturally it’s his best album in a while as well. If you liked his stuff in the 80’s, you’ll probably like this: it has the same dark fire behind it. Definitely a winner for me. 8

Deadlock: Manifesto Deadlock: Manifesto


Lord K: Full coverage here. In short: Sabine’s vocals are beautiful and the production is cleaner than Jeffrey Dahmer’s dinner table. 7

Kampfar: “Deathrace” alone makes this band worthy of a collective death sentence, no doubt, but before injecting the lethal doses of something nasty I would pad their backs and tell them they sure had talent and qualities aplenty. If you by any chance hunger for quality melodic death/thrash entirely ruined by a chick screaming all over to the place, have a go. 5

The Duff: Hmmmm. 1:10 minute opener? Wonder what that could be? I was guessing Soilwork from the get-go, and lo-and-behold, the aforementioned band mixed wit’ da Evanescence, although the band would probably say late In Flames with that recent female collaboration. Electro-shit meets lazy death, ugly-ass vocals and sickening production. And what is it with flashy guitar playing that helps the song develop nada (so you’ve guessed I’m not Spanish…)? Really need to learn the technique and then how to integrate it into a song – the guys can play, but I’m not impressed with the lifeless delivery. “Nuh-uh” might be the noise I make during climax, but not this time. 3

Abyss: I never realized Deadlock were such hippies. An entire album about how much the environment are crying and animals slitting their wrists in angst, how’s that to headbang to? Well, not bad, there’s some parts that actually sound ok and some, not many, that sounds really good. The cheesy rapping at the end of “Deathrace” is not one of them though. 5

Seker: Oh hey, the new Evanescence is out. These guys are listed on their MySpace as xDeadlockx, they sing about veganism, they’ve released two albums in the last two years, their album has a bonus track called “Planetakis vs. Deadlock DJ Morgoth Remixxx”… If you’re still planning on checking these guys out, you might want to find a new genre of music to listen to, because this whole metal thing ain’t working. 3

Oceans Of Sadness: The arrogance of ignorance Oceans Of Sadness: The arrogance of ignorance


Lord K: Their moniker fucken sucks. Their music is not far from fucken sucking either. Actually, it’s dead close to do so. Actually, it’s spot on Teh Suck. While I prefer bullshit metal like this to badly produced music like Darkthrone, there’s no way I can score this higher. Coz what it comes down to is that it, yep… fucken sucks. 2

Kampfar: This bands music is every bit as pretentious as their name suggests. More precisely, “The arrogance of ignorance” consist of 80% pretto and 20% metal. Something like that. 3

The Duff: There are some good parts to this disc, but some really bad parts too. I’m getting prog a la Ayreon, power cheese/soft-core rock (kinda like H.I.M.), folk, melodeath, heavy metal, quite a big Fear Factory vibe, and Ultravox(?). It’s all too much of a mash-up overall, and so on the whole I can’t say I’m getting into this too easily. 3

Abyss: Oos (hehe) seemingly does everything right to fit in among the Olympians of goth/prog metal. They record in Fascination Street, are produced by Jens Bogren and have artwork by Seth Siro Anton. Oos obviously would like to be mentioned in the same breath as Katatonia, Opeth and Pain of Salvation and they’re close, I give them that, but while the songwriting is decent I miss those really, really memorable parts that takes an album from cool to indispensable. 6

Seker: Since this sticky sweet morass of melodic death riffs and saccharine vocals kinda gets on my nerve, I will continue to remain ignorant of this band’s back catalogue and thus arrogant in their ey-OH SHIT is that some Evanescence-style clean vocals? You just lost yourself a point, assholes. 3

Darkthrone: Dark thrones and black flags Darkthrone: Dark thrones and black flags


Lord K: Jörgen Sandström absolutely adores Darkthrone. I’m starting to think he’s stone deaf. There are a few good riffs here and there, unfortunately everything is ruined by a horrendous production, out-of-tune guitars and ridiculous vocals. I miss the days of “Soulside journey”. 2

Kampfar: “F.O.A.D” was a bad album, “Dark thrones and black flags” is even worse, this thanks to one of the worst vocal jobs ever. In fact, through and through this shitter sounds like a talented duo – after all they are responsible for “Ravishing grimness” – doing their utmost to suck. Mission accomplished. 4

The Duff: Can’t say I’m digging this; recent Darkthrone has been spectacular, with albums like “Hate Them” and “The Cult is Alive”, but the band is pushing the boat out too far – I hear that they already have a new album written by this point? Anyways, the riffs are good but don’t seem to go anywhere, and the vocals have taken a serious turn for the worse; Fenriz’s drumming (of which he hasn’t been a practitioner for many years, apparently) is terribly sloppy – the desired effect for such a lax training regime – and yet wouldn’t seem so bad if the guitars weren’t so well produced (for a Darkthrone album). I would avoid this. 4

Abyss: At first I liked Darkthrone’s change into a more punk-inspired sound but after a good ol’ blaze in the northern sky I realized that Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are just continuing their Alice in Wonderland slide down into mediocrities asshole. Population: a whole lot of shit. 3

Seker: Oh man, that Danzig impersonation is pretty atrocious. Other than that, this sounds like the last Darkthrone album, which sounded like the one before it; self-consciously ironic 80’s-style thrash metal with, as Kreator would say, no reason to exist. 4

Lordi: Deadache Lordi: Deadache


Lord K: Mock them all you want, the joke isn’t over and if you dig the old classic hardrock of the 80’s – you’ll dig this. I definitely appreciate it for what it is, but I had my hard on for the 80’s in… the… eh… 80’s. Or something like that. 5

Kampfar: This bunch of Finnish fucknuts once won the Eurovision, and could probably do it again. At least their music is catchy and shit to the core still. I fucking hate entertainment, almost entirely, though I must admit their masks and costumes to be very well made. 2

The Duff: I hate this band; they deserve nothing but failure. 0

Abyss: A Eurovision Song Contest winner does not a good band make. The singer’s favourite band is Kiss. That should tell you something. 2

Seker: Wow, these guys are still around. Gwar is a lot funnier, and a lot harder, and generally just more fun to listen to. Generic 70’s arena rock for the generic crowd. 3

Unsun: The end of life Unsun: The end of life


Lord K: While Vader lost a guitarist, Mauser himself lost everything he ever built up with that band by releasing this embarrassing bullshit project. Holy fucken asshole this is some hideous half-metal with vocals I don’t even like, and you know how sold I am with chick vocalists… That says it all. Stay the fuck away. Far, far away. 3

Kampfar: Wow, one must admire the creative gone into the word-play this ass band use as a moniker. Just taste it, Unsun, that’s like an inverted sun that isn’t there, or something. I must now stop marveling, that before my head explodes, but before I go I’d like to recommend the guys and gal in question to give unsuck a go. Quit already. 2

The Duff: Mauser’s new band, eh? I think I’d take the new Lordi over this, but then I hate Nightfish-type bands. This isn’t such a thing at all, but much, much worse – can’t figure out anything more to say other than this is possibly the worst album I’ve ever heard in my life (I don’t mean this in the cliché sense); I actually feel bad for Lordi giving them the same score as this, but my hatred for their music kinda stems that far too. 0

Abyss: Oh please no. Mauser, what have you done? It was obvious that Peter would continue unhindered with Vader, so where does that leave you, Mauser? With a shitty goth metal band with zero reason to exist other than keeping the missus happy. Shit. 2

Seker: Wow, that chick is pretty hot. I guess I’ll ignore the fact that this sucks. Or not. 3