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Global Domination | Audio Autopsy | Audio Autopsy - January 2010

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Audio autopsy

Audio Autopsy - January 2010

01/01/10  ||  Global Domination

Katatonia: Night is the new day Katatonia: Night is the new day

7.6/10

Lord K: Ringing in the new year with one of 2009’s finest recordings, “Night is the new day”. Katatonia sure got their own gig. Apart from their old shit albums (before they established today’s sound) they have a fantastic discography where I can’t tell one album apart from the other – and it’s becoz it’s all high fucken quality. Moody arrangements, emotional vocals and a killer atmosphere. Katatonia is a fuckload better than what people prolly understand and give them credit for. I applaud you for being this consistent at not sucking. Lemme put it like this: you guys are actually nothing but quite fucken awesome on “Night is the new day. Thank you. With both Dark Funeral and The 11th Hour scoring 8’s here in this AA, I have no choice but to give Katatonia a higher score – they simply are the best of the bunch. 9

Kampfar: The world-champions of depression are back and they haven’t cheered up one tenth of an iota since last. 6

The Duff: It’s been a while since I heard a CD that made me side-line all others; Katatonia have always been a solid band, but never one to ever knock me down flat, yet here we are with what I consider their most diverse, complete record – the silences, the electronics, the riffs, finally everything has a purpose, and aside from single “Night is the New Day”, every cut devoid of the minor “meh” moments that would deny the band more than the occasional listen. Then of course there is Renske who is still one of my vocal heroes; his work here has been moved up a notch, not in his performance which remains much the same, but in his way of integrating with the music and not driving it. 8

Trauma: I really feel like I want to go to leep (the land with no S’s and where you lay in constant lumber) and never wake up. My keyboard sucks and “leep” made me chuckle, fuck off. Katatonia is good, but am I ever in the mood for this? Not really. 7

CadenZ: Another fantastic record from the K-dawgs. The Opeth influences are becoming more and more evident, “Idle Blood” being 95% Åkerfeldt-esque. “NITND” proved itself to be a semi-late grower, took me a couple of months to be able to appreciate it fully. A worthy continuation of the vein they almost perfected on “The Great Cold Distance”. 9

Hanging Limbs (guest): The band that made it ok to kill yourself again returns with what may be their best album in ten years. I’m not just trying to hype this thing; the album is pretty damn good. The “woe is me” depression vocals grow slightly tiring by the end of the album, but it’s hard to give this album less than a: 7

Dark Funeral: Angelus exuro pro eternus Dark Funeral: Angelus exuro pro eternus

7.5/10

Lord K: New drummer, new album and pending tours all over the world. Things are going quite well for Dark Funeral. I still can’t see them beat “Diabolis interium” but this one is another quality effort, and I expected nothing else. But I did expect more. Still they get this high a grade, weird huh? That sure tells something about the quality DF is about. 8

Kampfar: Dark Funeral has been a quality orchestra right from the start, not that I’ve heard “The secrets of the black arts”, but since “Vobiscum satanas” I know for a fact that they have. “Angelus exuro pro eternus” maintains status quo, it being more of the same and little else. 7

The Duff: K’s review, stating this to be a good album failing to meet the expectations set by the previous two, contradicted main composer Ahriman’s feelings that it was the band’s strongest, most diverse album to date. I thought he was simply disappointed in one of his favourites, but helas, this is a step down; the tracks are less focused, much like with “Vobiscum Satanas”, which is a great thing nonetheless, but then to introduce a perfect cut like “Declaration of Hate” into the mix (goddamn what an opening riff) sends the whole affair off-kilter. Also, the pair of openers often come in galloping on any DF album, making the 3rd track all-important, yet “Stigmata” does little for me. Less obviously catchy than “Diabolis Interium” and “Attera Totus Sanctus”, this is still some great shit, but the Dark Funeral juggernaut is starting to falter. 8

Trauma: My balls have been (sand)blasted down to the spongy goodness underneath. It hurts and I want more. The best part about this record is the fact that while being so completely black metal, I hear so much more in the actual music. Caligula sounds awesome. 8

CadenZ: I hoped “AEPE” would be just like it is. Brutal, demonic, fast, sombre – and above all, good songwriting, performances and production. All tracks uphold a very high standard, with “The Birth of the Vampiir” and “Stigmata” providing the highlights. 8

Hanging Limbs (guest): A black metal album that falls on the better side of average, but like most albums of the style, is ultimately forgettable. 6

The Red Chord: Fed through the teeth machine The Red Chord: Fed through the teeth machine

6.5/10

Lord K: Overload on technical death metal insanity. 4

Kampfar: The Red Chord is the best deathcore ensemble around, circa at least, but in the real world they aren’t that great. Quite good but never amazing, is what I think of “Fed through the teeth machine”. 6

The Duff: “Prey for Eyes” was a good record, and I never much invested in the two before it. “Fed Through the Teeth Machine” features a band sans one guitarist, and it shows – the lack of diversity is slightly discouraging. That said, the added atmospherics are a well-thought out addition to the band’s sound, and although I doubt them to be, as professed, “masters of the breakdown” (whu-?), some of the riffs here are pretty tight, verging on Aeon-like precision; can’t go wrong with that. 7

Trauma: I hear good music in here. Now someone beat me before I change my mind, because it could happen any second. 7

CadenZ: How do you label this kind of shit? I dunno, but I know it’s technical and progressive, varied and weird, brutal and melodic. And fucken good. The band moniker… for me, G major is a red chord, but I guess that’s not what these guys were after. 7

Hanging Limbs (guest): The hype machine has been riding high with these guys since 2004’s “Fused Together in Revolving Doors.” While this album falls just short of that powerhouse disc, it flies its flags miles above the deathcore basket in which it will no doubt get lumped. The musicianship (drumming in particular) is inspiring and unrelenting, though never overwhelming. This album seals The Red Chord as a relevant band in metal and deserves the top spot on AA. 8

The 11th Hour: Burden of grief The 11th Hour: Burden of grief

6.3/10

Lord K: Of the three slow bands in this edition (this one, Katatonia and Swallow The Sun) The 11th Hour place themselves as silver medalists. Ed Warby’s (Hail Of Bullets/Gorefest) doom-child is a nice venture into depression and ugly beauty. 8

Kampfar: The 11th Hour is said to be heavily influenced by Candlemass, and it’s hard to disagree, but just mentioned band would be quite a lot better if they returned the honor. Put another way, the Swedes in question would be a lot more interesting if they added growls and subtracted pretentiousness. 8

The Duff: A death/doom band, I’m not getting much of the former except the vocals and buzz-saw Swedo-sound, and I’ve never been so keen on the latter, even with the legendary Candlemass. The cleans that remind me of Green Carnation’s “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” are drab, the riffs not bad if only sluggish, but the chief redeeming factors I consider the aforementioned death metal elements, overall not enough to enthrall me. 5

Trauma: What to say? I respect the man behind this immensely. This music is not totally for me, but in the right mood I’d find myself very happy (well, so to speak) listening to this and appreciating the total quality in the audio. I’m just rarely in the mood for doom. 7

CadenZ: This is my kind of doom/death. Dark, hard and harsh, but still melodic, well-played and well-sung – great vocal performances, both cleans and growls. The production could’ve been a little bit rawer to give “BOG” more edge and atmosphere. 7

Hanging Limbs (guest): Putting this album next to Swallow The Sun is like putting tapioca pudding next to crème brulee. Which one will you reach for? 3

Swallow The Sun: New moon Swallow The Sun: New moon

5.8/10

Lord K: Katatonia are slow and quite fucken fantastic. Swallow The Sun are slow, heavier and not quite as fantastic. 5

Kampfar: I prefer my doom gritty and sick, Swallow The Sun don’t, but I think of them as a fine band nonetheless. 7

The Duff: I get Katatonia/Novembre-style doom metal, not bad at all, but I was hoping for Burnt By the Sun: ‘sadface’ : 0 ( with a massive nose aaaww yeah booiye you know what that means!!111 6

Trauma: Swallow my semen and then juggle my balls. This reeks of gay vampires and underage sex, neither of which I have enjoyed and only one I wish I had. You choose the correct answer. 2

CadenZ: Finland’s melodic doomy death greats have made their best record since “The Morning Never Came”, their 2003 debut, and that’s not saying the albums in between have been bad. Vocalist Kotamäki has diversified his output, and the new higher-pitched screams are very welcome. Good stuff, indeed. 8

Hanging Limbs (guest): I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t name this album after the new Twilight movie. The best doom metal band from Finland returns with an album full of dramatic, forlorn dirges – which is exactly what you expect from these guys. Musical growth? No way, but STS always injects enough melody to keep things interesting and almost catchy – in a commiserative kind of way. Watch out Katatonia, thy wrists slice deeper – and with better vocals. 7

Them Crooked Vultures: Them crooked vultures Them Crooked Vultures: Them crooked vultures

5.6/10

Lord K: I have seen this moniker on various website for some time but never cared to check them out. Learning that they are some kind of an all-star collaboration I decided to listen to the album and ultimately put it in this edition of Audio Autopsy. The inclusion had nothing to do with the fact they they were great or anything. Oh noes, Them Crooked Vultures sports a killer name for their band, now all they need is some good music coz this mentally challenged rock crap is not really my thing. 3

Kampfar: Them Crooked Vultures is a supergroup and all them important magazines appears to be superduper impressed with what this trio of supermen are up to. I’m not. 6

The Duff: Not much of a fan of Queens of the Stone Age or Foo Fighters, I can’t deny the quality of these songs even if they’ll promptly be deleted following the month of December 2009; they be kickin’ bitches groov-ey – quite a varied album too. 7

Trauma: I’m quite into this. For how long I don’t know, but here I am. At first glance it seems like it’s a giant wank-job for all those involved, but turned out to be a very good album with tunes that sound more inspired than, “Hey, we’re famous. Let’s play together!” 8

CadenZ: When this came on, I thought: “What is this?”, after which I answered my own question with: “Well, sounds like a mix between Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters, but somehow… older. There are definitely some 70s vibes here… Zeppelin and stuff.” Well, one Wikipedia search later… The funniest thing was that the initial question also was a band… haha. This doesn’t suck, by the way. 6

Hanging Limbs (guest): I don’t like Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, or Queens of the
Stone Age. How do I feel about a band that combines members of all three bands?
Boring groove rock that rarely reaches for any emotion or intensity. 4

Sacrifice: The ones I condemn Sacrifice: The ones I condemn

4.6/10

Lord K: First album in 16 years from these Canadian thrashers. Can’t say I ever gave a fuck about Sacrifice but “The ones I condemn” feels kinda old-school, and I am sure I would have loved it had it been 1986. But it’s not and I can’t be arsed to take much notice. Decent thrash metal anyways. 5

Kampfar: If you miss the 80’s and its thrash, do sacrifice your ears to the devil. 4

The Duff: I had to research this band some to find out if they were a genuine 80s thrash band so unashamedly do they poach Slayer riffs. Nope, recent they are, hailing from Canada; riffs that, even if thought of as written from a reformed “classic” outfit, have little value. A good album, nonetheless, despite the complete lack of fresh ideas. 6

Trauma: In the end you’ve got a thrash platter that leaves you with a bit too much to be desired. I desire a spongebath from Monica Sweetheart. Since this music will not make that happen: 3

CadenZ: Ok thrash with an annoying vocalist. Somewhere between evil Chuck, John Tardy and an average thrash hollerer, but with an erect, tiny and long transvestite dick in his mouth. ‘Cause he sucks. And sounds like a girl sometimes. 5

Hanging Limbs (guest): Another “legendary” thrash band releases an album. In the 2020’s, do you think thrash revival-revival bands will play Sacrifice covers? 5

Paradox: Riot squad Paradox: Riot squad

4.8/10

Lord K: I loved “Product of imagination” back in fucken 1987. I’m sure it’s shit if I listen to it today though. “Riot squad” is surprisingly good and vital and I’ll keep it in my mp3 collection. Nice modern thrash metal that at times give me some Accuser vibes when Accuser were awesome (“Who dominates who” only). I sure as shit didn’t expect this. 6

Kampfar: Life is a paradox, a complete mindfuck, straightforward thrash ain’t. What I just didn’t try to say is that apart from the vocals, “Riot squad” sounds quite alright. 5

The Duff: A decent melodic power/thrash band; no punches pulled, generally lukewarm, nothing to get excited over. 5

Trauma: Why more thrash? Why so much? It’s all so overdone. Whoever thought the vocals sounded good as they are needs to be fucked in the ears with James Hetfield’s invisible kid. Highly unmemorable music. 3

CadenZ: Horrible guitar sound. Absolutely horrible. Sounds like they were distorted, and then distorted again. Mixed and mastered by an Achim Köhler it seems, he won’t be going near my work. Not the guitars anyway. Huh? The rest of the music? Generic and boring thrash metal. I guess it doesn’t suck. At least more than a minuscule, floppy chinchilla cock. 4

Hanging Limbs (guest): Better than decent thrash with good power metal overtones, but the vocals are shit even by thrash standards. Worth a listen, even if you’re jaded by the thrash revival scene. 6

Freak Kitchen: Land of the freaks Freak Kitchen: Land of the freaks

4.5/10

Lord K: The only reason people give a fuck about Freak Kitchen is becoz guitarist Ia obviously is mastering fantastic skills. I don’t give a shit, I think Freak Kitchen fucken blow, virtuoso or not. 3

Kampfar: This kitchen ain’t that freaky – experimental at best, downright pretentious at worst – and isn’t about to enter The Michelin Guide anytime soon. In other words, this feather-weight nonsense isn’t for me. 2

The Duff: We open on a good note, but tracks following on from the opener are by-and-large failures. The guitarist is exceptional, but a Steve Vai admirer appears out of place on this overly-ambitious hybrid variety of music that is some hits, mainly misses, never veers into metal territory and is quite the floundering affair. 4

Trauma: At first the vocals and lyrics really got to me in a negative fashion, and I wanted to hate this so much because the actual musical compositions were very good. Then, out of nowhere, I liked it all. Guitar-work is fantastic minus the actual sound. Lyrics are still kinda retarded, but I’m letting them slide. What makes it even more disturbing to me is that I hear boy-band/pop rhythms/choruses and still don’t mind. Maybe it’s quite indicative as to the quality of the rest of the bands I’m hearing why I like this. But my mom says I’m unique. 8

CadenZ: A return to form. “Organic” was a big disappointment after the superb “Move”, and this one is somewhere in between the two, both in terms of quality and musical orientation. Ia’s vox and guitar chops always sound great, and this time around his song- and lyric-writing have taken a step forward again. 7

Hanging Limbs (guest): With lyrics like “…God save the spleen…”, you would think this is a joke band. If they are a joke band, then I don’t get it. If they’re not… well, maybe they should rethink their trade. 3

Throwdown: Deathless Throwdown: Deathless

4/10

Lord K: In one ear, out the pee-hole. You can tell by the name what kind of band this shit is. And you can tell by my rashes how much I fucken hate this kind of music. 3

Kampfar: This is MTV metal to the thrashcore, so be sure to miss out on “Deathless” unless you happen to be a sworn fan of Headnodders Ball. 3

The Duff: These guys luuurve the Pantera. It’s alright, but new-generation metal with nu-metal tendencies. 4

Trauma: Forget the fact that they emulate Pantera in every way, shape, and form. The songs are pretty groovy/catchy and it’s not a total suckfest. Interesting enough to keep your attention for very long, though? Well, not for me and most definitely not for you. 5

CadenZ: Mmm… Toblerone. I should go brush my teeth, tastes like a fucken raccoon died in my mouth. Need to fill up the fridge with some milk, yogurt, eggs… minced meat… need some bread as well…maybe some- what? There’s a record on? Oh, god, change it, please. Huh? Yeah, sure go ahead, delete this boring piece of shit. 3

Hanging Limbs (guest): I hated this band back when they were a wannabe tough guy hardcore band. While I am hesitant to call this a good album, it serves its purpose well as Pantera-lite for the metal kiddies. It’s better than expected and dare I say this band has true potential? Regardless, the best thing ever associated with this band will always be this. 6

Bon Jovi: The circle Bon Jovi: The circle

3.3/10

Lord K: I loved Bon Jovi back at the time of the debut album and “7800° Fahrenheit”, and still to this day those albums put a smile on my face. I think it’s safe to say that the novelty didn’t just wear off over the years for Bon Jovi, it fucken died. And when you hear them go “Sha-la-la, sha-la-la-hey” (from “When we were beautiful”) you know we are all fucked. For rock it’s solid, but next to those 2 old albums I talked about, this is as thin as the keyboard sound in “Runaway”. 4

Kampfar: “Slippery when wet” sold like a trillion copies, “The Circle” won’t, but I bet many a housewife will end up with a slippery cunt when hearing the power pop at hand. 3

The Duff: “Keep the Faith” was a killer album; the band may well have gone on hiatus since then for all the interest I spared their way (except for “Have a Nice Day”, which was alright but nothing like the usual rays of bright sunshine expected from the band), but twenty years on and they still deliver the hooks; the vocals inspire life in a man, let me tell you, probably written by the only guy in the world to be married twenty plus years and still wake up to the occasional morning blowjob. However, one thing, when talented guitarists like Richie Sambora start playing like The Edge, we are all fucked – no self-respecting guitar player should ever emulate The Edge. 8

Trauma: Cumfart deluxe. With distended anus. 1

CadenZ: “Let me hear you say: Yeah!” Oh. My. Me. These hairfucks have done some decent tunes during their career, but this album doesn’t sport any of those. “Guitar!” before a solo and “Sha-la-la! Sha-la-la, hey!” choirs… the cheese factor is off the chart. “The Circle” sucks the circular balls of a French Camembert-dealer. 2

Hanging Limbs (guest): There are things in life that I never thought I would do: skydiving, orgies, running a marathon, and reviewing a Bon Jovi album on GD. I don’t even know how to go about this arduous task. Anyone looking for a return to the band’s high-flying 80’s anthems will be disappointed. This is exactly the album you’d expect a 25-year old pop-rock band to make and will probably please fans of their recent output. In other words, this album sucks. 2

Echoes Of Eternity: As shadows burn Echoes Of Eternity: As shadows burn

3/10

Lord K: With one of the worst production as of late (kill whoever decided on the Hasselhoff drumsound) Echoes Of Eternity might be trying a bit too much. Chick vocals is my forte. And this cunt is good. What more? Black, death and thrash metal influenced, melodic metal. Hmm… Yeah… The mix of those styles together with her voice feels a little weird at times. One second it works, the other not so much. If this band had a guy doing the vocals I would have fucken pissed on them until I exploded, now the chick saves the fags in the band from complete embarrassment. 4

Kampfar: Death metal light with a woman on top, is what Echoes Of Eternity is all about. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. 3

The Duff: A clusterfuck of ideas that go nowhere; the musicians are talented but don’t know to what purpose they’re playing within the genre, so appear to pound all their influences together to form a train wreck. The vocalist is the worst of the bunch though, like Anastasia and new Alicia Keys, having no fucking clue about the fine art of phrasing – I don’t consider it breaking the mould when you couldn’t care less on where the fuck your notes are drifting. 2

Trauma: Francine needs more power in her voice to help this Iced Earth fantasy clone rise up higher. I won’t even mention how good-looking she is. 5

CadenZ: Who’d have thought that multi-layered clean female vox could sound annoying as fuck? Well, in theory they suck, and in practice they also suck. They sound fucken horrible. The vocalist has no cojones (well, duh – but some chicks actually manage to sound like they’ve got a pair) and no power. Shitty guitar solos, horrible sterile and dry production with guitars that sound like Guitar Pro samplings. Echoes of Erections suck red and hairy orangutan cock and wish they had one themselves, split amongst the band – that’d still be more than they have now, which is two less than the score they get. 2

Hanging Limbs (guest): Who, what, where, when, why, and how the fuck did this happen? 2

Atreyu: Congregation of the damned Atreyu: Congregation of the damned

2.5/10

Lord K: The opening track says it better than I ever could: “Stop! Before it’s too late and we’ve destroyed it all!”. It’s an art to suck this much. 2

Kampfar: I’m not sure how to pronounce the name but I find it incredibly easy to ignore the music. 3

The Duff: I was expecting Killswitch Engage and Trivium, but instead got SWEET FUCKING CHRISTMAS! A lot of this isn’t so bad, for what it is; the musicians are gifted, and the chorus to the opener is ingrained in my head. All said, this suffers from the shouty vocals, the cleans generally aren’t too bad, and the music ranges from catchy melodic harmonies heavily Maiden inspired, a heavy riff or two and watered down power/emocore bullshit. Could do worse, and probably the better of its kind. 4

Trauma: No. Fuck you vocals. Fuck off and die. 1

CadenZ: Emopop/rock wannabe-metal with wannabe-flashy guitar leads and passive-aggressive vocals (you know, inhaled screamo shit vs. pretty-boy wailing and everything in-between) that suck dingo dick. Fuck you. 2

Hanging Limbs (guest): This band is as stale as Anders Fridén’s hair and has lost all importance in the malls of America. I’ve rarely seen a band more irrelevant to a style of music they helped make popular. Speaking of Anders Fridén, is this band obsessed with In Flames? They’ve ripped them off in the past, but god damn. 3