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Global Domination | Audio Autopsy | Audio Autopsy - February 2008

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Audio autopsy

Audio Autopsy - February 2008

01/02/08  ||  Global Domination

Rotten Sound: Cycles Rotten Sound: Cycles


Lord K: One of the few grind bands I can actually listen to, and quite enjoy, even if it’s in small doses. Rotten Sound kills, maims and destroys pretty much everything else in this edition (with one or 2 exceptions), not that it says much since this edition fucken blows. A quality effort from the Finns, just as expected. 7

Desolator: This music is so rotten in a wonderful way and is this edition’s winner for me. This blew me away from start to finish with its rapid-fire vagina-pounding drums and filthy sound. Well it ain’t called Rotten Sound for nothing, is it? Fuck, I’m so glad I “had to” check this band out. The massive guitar crunches in “Alternews” are something to be reckoned and rotten with. I would have been banging my head to this music if it weren’t for the damn sunburn on the back of my neck. 9

Hanging Limbs: This is better than most grind. Of course, that’s like saying getting slapped in the face is better than being kicked in the nuts, but you catch my drift. 7

Stephen Fallen: The production is cleaner and the feeling a little less frantic, but the end result is still pure Rotten Sound. For those not in the know, that means quality grind. This album doesn’t blow me away like “Exit” did, but it’s solid. 6

Abyss: Finland’s finest grinders continue to spoil us with their own special brand of modern grindcore, shock-filled with death metal riffs, breakdowns and violence über alles. “Cycles” never becomes silly like a lot of grind core can. This stuff’s lethal, from start to fin(n)ish. 8

Toxocara: The great rebellious Toxocara: The great rebellious


Lord K: Killer death metal, folks, that’s Toxocara. And that’s all the fucken information you need. Check this out, pronto! 8

Desolator: What the hell does the moniker mean? Was it named after one of the band member’s girlfriends or pets? Anyway… holy SHIT this is good! Death metal that crushes, grinds ass and crushes again. Did I mention that it will grind your ass? Like a prison domanatrix (not a typo)? And the vocals do nothing to ruin it. If you’re into death metal that’s well produced, groovy and brutal, you should definitely love this like a teddy bear holding a beer can. If you love death metal and don’t love this, you are no brother of mine! 8

Hanging Limbs: Like Krisiun, Toxocara make nothing short of inspired death metal. Also like Krisiun, I find myself losing interest halfway through. Come to think of it, these guys sound just like Krisiun… but is that really a bad thing? 6

Stephen Fallen: Death metal rrrrrraaaaaaarrrrr. 6

Abyss: Wohoo, finally some proper death metal in this months edition! It should come as no surprise that the Dutch know their death metal on their… eh, 50 fingers considering their past achievements in The Monolith Deathcult and Sanguinary for example. Modern-sounding with enough old school-groove to keep shit catchy. Good shit. 7

Warbringer: War without end Warbringer: War without end


Lord K: I guess this would have been a huge hit at my place if it was released 15 years ago. Old school isn’t necessarily all that cool. 5

Desolator: The cover looks like something a rabid space ork (Warhammer 40k) collector would have drawn, so that’s kinda cool. The music lives up to the moniker and I’m digging some of the grooves and solos. This is thrash, right? Looks like the genre’s still hanging in there, like a monkey hanging on a high branch, watching you take a piss. But this album’s not really my favourite kind of music and it’s a bit samey at times. Most of the time it felt like it should have been called “Album without end” because it seemed too long. It’s probably not gonna cater to any kids that are riddled with ADD or any other attention deficiencies. It’s just something I’d call “good”. Oh, and who’s clever idea was it to put in a minute of invisible opening riffs for the last song? 6

Hanging Limbs: This vocalist must have crawled out of the same abysmal pit as the Cloverfield monster. He may not have parasites falling off of him, but I’ll be damned if I don’t feel a bit itchier since I first hit play. Decent throwback thrash for nostalgic metalheads of the late 80’s. 6

Stephen Fallen: Surprise thrash attack! This album is a really good example of how to do that whole thrash revival thing. In fact, I’ll take this album over the new Exodus any day of the week. 7

Abyss: Like all nostalgic revivals the current “80’s thrash”-lovebombing will eventually come to an end and 80% of the mediocre bands will be weeded out. That is the natural order of things and is as it should be. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing Warbringer in the surviving 20% because “War without end” has plenty of attitude and sweet riffs to keep them afloat. 7

The Morningside: The wind, the trees and the shadows of the past The Morningside: The wind, the trees and the shadows of the past


Lord K: Fantastic title. Not. 4

Desolator: This ain’t bad for what it is. It seems to be doom metal with black metal vocals. It’s very relaxing to listen to, but it’s not what I’d call intense at all. If you want something that’ll make you want to kill yourself or someone else, better look into Carpathian Forest. It’s slightly nihilistic, but not what I’d call suicidal. But a very interesting effort regardless. 7

Hanging Limbs: Blackheim wrote these songs better 15 years ago, but that doesn’t stop them from being extremely enjoyable. This is melodic, melancholy doom that drags and sags in all the right places despite an amateurish and unoriginal shroud. 7

Stephen Fallen: Whenever I discover a band that’s from Russia, I have a tough time avoiding Yakov Smirnoff jokes. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I can’t think of one that fits this album. “The Wind, etc” is a little Isis, a little Agalloch, a little Swallow the Sun and a little boring. 5

Abyss: The band with the least metal moniker is not surprisingly also the band with the least affiliation to metal. The delicate prog-metal aesthetics on “The Wind, The Trees And The Shadows Of The Past” might be something that Opeth or older Katatonia might have used as a 2 min bridge or something while The Morningside choose to flesh it out into 11+ min songs. Mostly instrumental, this Russian band is easily the greatest surprise of this month’s AA. 7

Serj Tankian: Elect the dead Serj Tankian: Elect the dead


Lord K: We all know System Of A Down, and we also know they create some (at times) unique music. I agree with a few of my colleagues when they say this could easily have been recorded under the SOAD moniker. I don’t see the reason for this being a solo album since it sounds the same. Nonetheless it’s good. 7

Desolator: The fact that Serj looks like a cross between Borat and Abraham Lincoln should rightfully give him a 10 for this album, but I can’t really do that here. I’ll have to look for him on the “Hot or Not” site. This music actually gets pretty weird at times and I felt like I was in an asylum cell as I listened to it. It’s actually kinda fun to listen to, and the sense of creativity is certainly strong. Some of the tunes are killer and the vocals are pretty oddballesque in a good way, but this is not entirely my cup of tea. “Erect the dead” is a good new direction for the Serjeon. Also, “Beethoven’s Cunt”!? Hahaha! Sounds like a good name for a gore grind band. 6

Hanging Limbs: I’ve not heard every SOAD release, but this seems like a more tamed, straightforward ride; more Barnum & Bailey, less Cirque Du Soleil. The result is something listenable that you don’t have to pretend to like. 6

Stephen Fallen: I like Serj’s vocals, I still spin “Toxicity” on occasion and I’ve always enjoyed the fact that Serj looks like a thin Mick Foley. This album is a lot like the past couple SoaD releases though, limp-wristed and lame. Good god and, the slow, acoustic stuff? That shit is just painful to listen to. 3

Abyss: You know of System Of A Down right? Do you know that for the past albums the guitarist has been writing the majority of the music? That would make you think that the singer Serj wanted to make a solo album to release his musical ideas that wasn’t deemed to fit with the SOAD-concept right? Right. Funny fact though is that Serj Tankian’s solo-album sounds almost exactly like selected parts of SOAD’s discography. Thus, the point of the solo endeavor escapes me, but hey, the music is cool. Could just as easily been released under the bandname. 7

Isole: Bliss of solitude Isole: Bliss of solitude


Lord K: Doom metal with a fantastically heavy guitar tone and annoying vocals. If you ever lose your Solitude Aeternus albums, Isole is a decent replacement until you find them again. 5

Desolator: This album lives up to its title very well. It puts any willing listener in a state of bliss and reflects the beauty of solitude. I’m not the biggest fan of doom metal, but this and The Morningside have served to elevate my interest in the genre. The sound is very crisp and soothing while the clean vocals add to the atmosphere very well. This actually sounds relatively happy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 8

Hanging Limbs: The first time I heard the term “doom metal”, I pictured a marine running around a Mars military base killing demons with a guitar. Thanks to Isole, I think of a marine blowing his commander for a promotion. 3

Stephen Fallen: Doom metal and William Wordsworth quotes (go-go-gadget English degree), what is a reviewer to do? Well, I could make a Cockermouth-in-Cumberland joke, I suppose. Anyway, Isole brings traditional doom to table, nothing fancy, just colossal guitars, enigmatic chanting and the overall sense of gloominess that is expected from doom. Not bad at all. 6

Abyss: Doom, the semi-fast kind. Like the heavier moments of My Dying Bride sung with a clean voice that sometimes echo of Jonas Renske, other times of MDB’s Aaron Stainthorpe. What Isole lacks in originality is to a large degree weighed up by them not being a fucking metalcore or melodic death band. Fuck knows this month’s AA is brimming with those knobheads. Decent doom but it needs more “What the fuck was that?”-moments to really make their mark. 6

Dantalion: Call of the broken souls Dantalion: Call of the broken souls


Lord K: I s’pose this is labeled “black metal” by the band themselves. To me it’s just poor, uninteresting noise. 3

Desolator: I expect my black metal to be either really really good, or really really shite. This is bleak to the monkey fuck. It’s good in a chilled out sort of way, on a similar level to Shining and Watain. You really have to be in the mood for it though, just like you need to have an ass to take a shit. 7

Hanging Limbs: I used to rip dandelions apart as a kid and now as an adult, I get to rip Dantalion apart. Unfortunately, my ripping hand won’t get much action since this is some high quality black metal; long, atmospheric songs that cast a black cloud of sorrow. 7

Stephen Fallen: I’m sitting here, I’m dipping my Snyder’s Pretzel Rods in a delicious spicy brown mustard and I’m listening to Dandelion play their sad, depressive black metal and I’m thinking, “I bet if these dudes had some pretzel rods and some mustard they wouldn’t be so sad. Do they even have spicy brown mustard in Spain?” If “Call of the Broken Souls” was a successful album, I’d be crying and reflecting on some painful memories. Instead, I’m pondering the state of Spanish mustard. 4

Abyss: Is there a genre called “mourning black metal”? If not, I think it should be. It’s not as full-on nihilistic as Shining nor as cinematic as Summoning, and definitely not played much faster than mid-tempo, but it ain’t bad. So yeah, Dantalion plays mourning black metal; melancholic and dark. With silly vocals. 4

Biomechanical: Cannibalized Biomechanical: Cannibalized


Lord K: Not a fucken chance. Too unfocused, too boring, too much. 3

Desolator: It’s got some chaos, some nice sounds and riffs and fucking hell this does get very nasty and messy. It sometimes gets pretty obnoxious, but it certainly appeals to me in a way. At first I hated this, but it’s growing on me already. It’s no Anaal Nathrakh or Myrkskog, but damn it’s a goodie. “Slow The Poison” is a fucken awesome song. 8

Hanging Limbs: I’m pretty sure most of the guys on this album were not on the last one, so I was curious how it would turn out. The words “jumbled mess” come to mind, as do “discombobulated shamble”. It starts out ok, but after 3 songs it becomes almost unlistenable. 4

Stephen Fallen: “Cannibalized” starts out really nice, bleeding together the chaotic, mechanical sheen of Strapping Young Lad with Nevermore’s nice little thrash/NWOBHM vibe. The second half of the album tries to be all slow and atmospheric, with overwrought electronically produced orchestral shit in yer ear fucktardedness. I’m not really sure what I think of the overall package, but there are flashes of greatness on this album. 5

Abyss: Whoever though it was a good idea to couple power metal falsetto-vocals with death/thrash music should be whipped relentlessly. And fuck you Earache for signing this shit. I think they were aiming for the structured chaos of Strapping Young Lad’s “City” but what they got was the Dragonforce-joke taken to the extreme (literally). It’s hard to look away from the car-crash even though it’s ugly and makes you feel slightly unclean. 4

Norther: N Norther: N


Lord K: Just listen to the opening riff of “Saviour”. That’s the highlight of the album. Try to ignore the fantastically irritating vocals and most of the cheese (it’s hard, but try) and you’ll end up with a decent-to-fine metal album. 6.

Desolator: What the fuck? They called their album “N”!? I know that naming an album is the hardest part of a band’s job, but come on man… This ain’t bad, but I need a bit less cheesiness. There’s cheesy and there’s CHEESY. There is darkness and devastation to a degree, but with this sort of music, I wouldn’t mind having a bit more. The music is pretty well played but again, some of the melodies get a bit cheesy and generic for me. But some of them are pretty nice. Still, this is like Dimmu Borgir on happy pills. 5

Hanging Limbs: These guys must have fallen from the highest fruit tree in Finland, crashing into Ensiferum and Children Of Bodom on the way down. Like Vintersorg, the clean vocals drain the fruit almost completely of its sugary sweet goodness. 4

Stephen Fallen: It’d say Norther is In Flames with an icy, black metal edge. The clean vocals are awful, but the rest of package is decent enough. “N” is like a 6-inch penis: Not worth showing off, but nothing to be embarrassed about either. 5

Abyss: First time I listened to this it didn’t sound too bad. Listening to it now, I have no idea why I thought that. The amount of superfluous bands making unnecessary albums is almost as jawdropping as the amount of money that are spent making bad movies starring Steven Seagal no one will watch. No wonder the music industry is losing money when they waste budget-percentages on bullshit like this. 3

Heaven Shall Burn: Iconoclast Heaven Shall Burn: Iconoclast


Lord K: Not bad at all but still nothing that will be played in my stereo all too often. Heaven Shall Burn is another of those bands who want to be brutal but fail no matter how hard they try. Just another one of those generic metal bands of today. There’s no end in sight either, which is a sad, sad thing. 5

Desolator: The cover looks like Euronymous’s black load of semen exploded all over it, to generate the logo and title. Good grief these guys are angry, but the music is pretty boring at best. It’s heavy, but I definitely don’t dig the angsty and wanksty vibes. Or the estrogen-laden vocals. Heaviness and brutality alone don’t do it for me (did I mention that yet?). Having an elephant sit on you is heavy and brutal, but not really an appealing pastime. I would have given an extra point or two if this were a ten-minute EP because I’d rather skull down an unflushed toilet in a gay bar than listen to this crap again. 1

Hanging Limbs: You’ve heard it, you’ve hated it, and here it is again, but better than expected. 6

Stephen Fallen: With a name like “Iconoclast”, I expect this album to make my wiener stiffen. I expect it to eat shit and shit hamburgers. I expect it to wear hats on its feet and rend the angels from heavens. I expect something other than… death metal with a little melody? It’s decent enough, but what a let down. There’s a Carcass homage at the end of “Like a thousand suns”, so that’s nice, I guess. 5

Abyss: Don’t let Euthanatos review fool you, this isn’t the second coming of Christ. It’s not even the second coming of Moses uncle’s goatherder. It’s just background music. Average background music. But still background music. 4

Arise and Ruin: The final dawn Arise and Ruin: The final dawn


Lord K: I have definitely been exposed to worse bands. It sounds American and being on the shit label that is Victory, you know what to expect. It could have been way more repulsive, now I just throw up a little in my mouth occasionally. 5

Desolator: There are some decent riffs married with a fair bit of brutality, but most of the time this album is boring, generic and has an annoying vibe. The decent riffs are good, but there’s too much bullshit surrounding and fornicating them. At times it sounds death metalish, and at times it sounds a tad hardcorish, and I’m not a fan of the latter one bit. I have mates that would dig this sort of stuff, and I’m sure I could listen to it when I’m beered up enough to not give a shit. Also, can someone please give the vocalist a real reason to be angry and upset? 4

Hanging Limbs: Say what you want about metalcore, most of it is legitimately heavy music. Say what you want about legitimately heavy music, most of it fucking sucks. 4

Stephen Fallen: A little poem: Metalcore, blah, heard it before, blah, I’ll give it a four, blah. 4

Abyss: This may be metalcore, complete with melodic death-harmonies and breakdowns but it’s far from the worst I’ve heard. The album suffers greatly from Repetitive Songwritingitis, but if you swoop down and sample a song here and there it’s not so painful. I dig the slightly garbled vocals. 5

Arsonists Get All The Girls: The game of life Arsonists Get All The Girls: The game of life


Lord K: Cool name aside… actually… the coolest thing about this band is their name. Most of the time this is just a tad too much for me, but every now and then they actually cook up some decent metal and interesting ideas. It’s just a shame it’s not that often. 4

Desolator: Yes, ars(e)onists are teh sex. Maybe. Anyway, the music is technical and weird. Some of the tunes appeal to me but some of them tend to get pretty fucken nonsensical and boring. I like weird music, but this just doesn’t appeal to me so much. This sounds a bit like a combination between Limbonic Art and Pig Destroyer (with heaps of added silly shit), but both bands are infinitely better than this one. Oh, and if a demon ejaculates all over a building, I’d call it arson since his semen is made of hellfire and sulfur. Just thought I’d mention that. 5

Hanging Limbs: It’s amazing that with how far harsh vocals have come, there are still vocalists out there that sound like this. You can’t just growl or scream for the hell of it because it’s extreme metal. It’s not 1991 and people give a shit about quality grunting. 3

Stephen Fallen: Okay, we’ve got the terrible band name, the spastic hard/grindcore and the pitiful attempts at humor… Are we sure this isn’t The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza? Or War From a Harlots Mouth or Dance Club Massacre? Shit, every time I see a song title like “Save the Castle Screw the Princess” I die a little inside. Seriously, you guys aren’t Botch, cut it out. 5

Abyss: A bizarre name gets you a long way (unless you’re named Job For A Cowboy, that just gives you ridicule) and Arsonists Get All The Girls seem intent on trying to sound just as bizarre as their name. Covering everything from deathcore (god I hate that phrase), grind, mathcore to strange electronic excursions, I can’t honestly say I love nor hate this. It’s as fascinating as it’s annoying. 5

God Forbid: Sickness and misery God Forbid: Sickness and misery


Lord K: God Forbid was always one uninteresting band. And they’ll stay right there in that category becoz this shit is just not working. 4

Desolator: I don’t tend to hear too many good things about this band. And it looks like I’m not gonna say many good things about them either. The music is violentish and there are a few good moments, but overall, it screams GENERIC. I’m screaming the word “generic” too, because this is… generic. The fact that this album has sixteen songs is a crime. A felony. Impaled Nazarene’s albums usually sport this number of tracks but that’s ok, because the ImpNaz are actually good. God Forbid came to my town at some point last year I think, but I’m sure I didn’t miss out on anything. And I’m not sure if I need to make a joke about a song title like “Assed Out”, aside from pointing out how half-assed the album is (and that’s no joke). Also, the “yelling” vocals are so fucking lame. The guy sounds like an autistic retard. How’s that for a bad combination? 3

Hanging Limbs: Why am I reviewing a bunch of early tracks by the Huxtable children? 4

Stephen Fallen: Do you fondly remember “Hearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion”? How about “The Opposite of December”? “Beyond Hypothermia”? If you do, you might get a kick out of “Sickness and Misery”, a collection of God Forbid’s early EPs. See, before the slew of At the Gates imitators turned a good, heartfelt sound into melodeath with breakdowns, metalcore had an honesty and vitality that made it quite enjoyable. This is a decent reminder of that. 6

Abyss: Dear God Forbid. Your fearless devotion to mediocrity and stubborn refusal to accept your nonexistent musicality has me on my knees. It wouldn’t be so bad if you hadn’t sold thousands of cd’s. Someone should’ve forbidden God Forbid to release this. 2

Degradead: Til death do us apart Degradead: Til death do us apart


Lord K: Sometimes it surprises me that bands get signed, especially when they have nothing unique whatsoever to offer. In Flames are doing those melodic choruses a hella lot better and the poor semi-blasts just end up sounding silly. They have their moments though, but be sure the vocalist has fucken nothing to do with that. 4

Desolator: What’s worse? Taking a name from LOTR? Or killing your braincells to come up with a made up moniker by squashing together two words that don’t quite fit? I’m not sure, but as long as the music kills my mind in a constructive manner, I’m happy. But Degradead doesn’t do that at all. All it does is annoy the shit out of me. The best track is the final one, which is an acoustic number, because I don’t have to listen to the god-awful vocals or the music that fucks up the preceding tracks. If I really want to listen to anything like this album again, I’ll visit a fat man’s flatulent asshole. 2

Hanging Limbs: I couldn’t have said it better myself. 3

Stephen Fallen: Some where there is a kid that’s never heard of In Flames or Soilwork, someone who still digs Killswitch Engage and is ignorant of AtG. That kid will be blown away by this album, his ignorance is Degradead’s salvation. I, on the other hand, am a cynical bastard who’s fucking tired of melodeath. 4

Abyss: Melodic death, as always it feels. The plague shifts from being disguised like nu-metal to melodic death or metalcore but it’s still the fucking plague. There are some catchy moments to Degradead’s songs, it’s not a total retch-fest, but as with so many other bands there’s nothing here that would make me want to memorize the band for future references or releases. Not degrading, but bland. 4

Inner Surge: An offering Inner Surge: An offering


Lord K: Congratulations on being the worst band in this edition, and I don’t think I have even heard all of them just yet when writing this. 2

Desolator: The offering here is a boring as cock-fuck album. For some reason this reminds me of whatever forty percent of Dissection’s “Reinkaos” I listened to, and that can’t be good. One problem is, there’s too many start-stop moments (you know, the da-da da-da… da-da da-da rhythm). And the sound is too bland. I’ll give a few points for the furious passion and the fact that these guys know what they’re doing, but those factors alone can’t make a good album. Get down on the ground? I don’t think so. I can’t wait til I’m senile, just so I can forget I ever heard this crap. 3

Hanging Limbs: This is some of the worst songwriting I’ve ever heard and it’s not made any better by the overplaying drummer… or the awful vocalist. Something good can come from this band, but “An Offering” is not quite there yet. 4

Stephen Fallen: Inner Surge is a band that feels strongly about… things. For instance, they dislike Holocaust revisionists. That’s, you know, great. Really. I mean those guys are jerks. It’s just that, is a crappy metalcore song going to change any minds? The point is this: The boys in Inner Surge have their collective hearts in the right place, but the music is fucking terrible. 2

Abyss: Whiny fucking maggotridden emo-metalcore bullshit with a festering boil of pus and herpes tacked on that calls it self “a thought-provoking band”. C’mere and I’ll show you fucking provoking, you herpes-ridden monkey-buttocks. 1