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Audio autopsy

Audio Autopsy - January 2012

01/01/12  ||  Global Domination

Krisiun: The great execution Krisiun: The great execution

7.2/10

Lord K: Krisiun is close to my heart. Some of the coolest guys around as well as a fucken killer death metal band. Nice to hear some more variety in their sound and “The great execution” is undoubtedly their best album since “Conquerors”. And considering what they have released over the years – that says quite a bit. 8

Habakuk: These guys are steadily making it to the top of my “bands that are awesome but that I have not a single album of” list. My only gripe here is the rather sterile sound. 8

CadenZ: Hard, harder, penis, Krisiun, an erect penis. That’s pretty hard. 8

Revenant: This is one big bad heavy mother of an album and yes, the execution is great, but feels just a little too mechanical to really win me over. 7

Smalley: Cool vocals, but I don’t like the production (‘specially not the drum production), and the songwriting is kinda boring. 5

The Rotted: Ad nauseam The Rotted: Ad nauseam

7/10

Lord K: The Rotted turned into quite the excellent band as soon as half of the Screamin’ Daemon line-up joined them. The Rotted’s death/punk/grind/whatever is cool. Real cool. 7

Habakuk: Nested comfortably between grind, crust and death metal catchiness, these guys positively surprise. They have my full support for winning this edition, although I doubt that’ll happen. 8

CadenZ: The first track is pure death metal bliss. The ending/chorus with massive growl jackpot deluxe is the aural equivalent of jizzing venom on the dying face of Jehovah. Fucken awesome. Hugely anti-climactically, the rest of the tracks are average punkish death/grind. How the fuck do you score this? I know. Six. Six. 6

Revenant: It’s the inconsistency in style that leads to the inconsistency of quality on this one. The opener is the tits, the black/death style stuff is also good, but the death n’ roll stuff I can do without – been done before and done better. 6

Smalley: Good, fun, intense, energetic, brutal DM. Want to review now. 8

Skeletonwitch: Forever abomination Skeletonwitch: Forever abomination

6.4/10

Lord K: Dani Filth would be proud of the vocals. Thank fuck that’s the only resemblance to Cradle Of Filth. 6

Habakuk: Oh, Gollum sings in a metal band now? Honestly, given the sheer unimpressiveness of Skeletonwitch’s modern thrash, I have to wonder why I know this band’s name already whilst missing shitloads of good stuff every year. 6

CadenZ: For some reason I thought this band played sludge/doom. Turns out they do not. Instead, they make some kind of 90’s-retro black/death and seem to have some production and originality issues. The drums sound programmed, and the guitars…well, it’s like they picked the worst parts of both analogue and digital techniques, end result: whiny, indistinct, ball-less fuzz. Riff-wise: I’ve heard it all before. Despite these foul remarks, I still kinda like this. That’s a good verdict, methinks. 7

Revenant: Skeletonwitch’s watered down black/thrash does have a few hooks, but I prefer my black/thrash dirtier, nastier and more aggressive than this. 6

Smalley: Not fully used to Skeletonwitch’s blackened thrash style yet, but “Forever abomination” ain’t a bad entry point at all. 7

Korn: The path to totality Korn: The path to totality

6.2/10

Lord K: So this is what Korn’s been trying to do all these years over the last bunch of quite crappy albums? Well, they finally succeeded. I knew they needed Skrillex to make it all work. Some of the stuff on here grooves more than your mother on a giant vibrator. 8

Habakuk: They’ve scrapped literally everything resembling metal (or whatever shit they played before) and have gone full blown dubstep. Mostly with Skrillex and Noisia produced beats, with the only thing reminding of Korn being the vocals. And those are still kinda lame. The beats are ace, though. Interesting. 6

CadenZ: As a metal record this is beyond shit, but as…something else that I don’t know the name of, this is OK. Some kind of electronic dubstep hybrid with rock/metal. Most of this is meh, but some beats are nice as hell. Which means that this must be the best Korn record ever made, by a mile. Not that it’s any accomplishment, but still. 5

Revenant: I’m not overly into this, but you have to respect them for what they’ve done here. Not many bands could incorporate a completely different genre (in this case dubstep) into their style and pull it off as well as Korn has here. 6

Smalley: Still don’t really like Korn, but I have to give them some props for integrating dubstep without completely fucking up, or even becoming too unrecognizable. Review. 6

Illogicist: The unconsciousness of living Illogicist: The unconsciousness of living

5.8/10

Lord K: The musicianship is impressive. The production and songs – not so much. Technical death metal has become very boring. 5

Habakuk: Kudos for mixing songwriting in your techno-stew, but it still isn’t elevated above good background music for me. I just don’t feel like devoting massive amounts of time into this kind of stuff. 7

CadenZ: Pretty cool techery, with some Death and Nocturnus touches but with a more modern (and techier) spin to things. Not too catchy and maybe some streamlining would suit the songs better, but still I’ll keep an eye on these pundits. 6

Revenant: Let me see if I can guess the influences on this band. Hmmm… I’d say Death, mixed with a little Death, and perhaps some Death to round things off. Getting the picture any? Pretty good techy stuff, but like 90% of the stuff this month, fails to really stick in my mind. 5

Smalley: Illogicist lacks a lot of the mindless, weedle-weedle-weedle wankery or annoyingly random song shifts a lot of other tech death bands possess (of spawn?), but they’re still pretty toothless, ‘specially the vox. Study the masters to learn how to put the proper bite in your sound, children. 6

Graveworm: Fragments of death Graveworm: Fragments of death

5.6/10

Lord K: Completely anonymous semi death metal with a few keyboards and melodic parts thrown in. All in all it actually kinda fucken blows, but ultimately passes for ok, at best. 4

Habakuk: Still a gothic meets Amon Amarth outfit, and still pretty standard fare. 6

CadenZ: Well, we surely won’t find more than fragments of death metal in this. The Edge of Sanity influences are nice but Graveworm certainly don’t compose, arrange or execute on the same level. I don’t understand what the gay keyboards have to do on this record. They just soften up the shit like…conditioner. Go natural, boys! 5

Revenant: Mostly death and a little of goth, exactly how it should be. I’m tired of these sombre bands that make me either want to kill them or myself. Graveworm needs to be an example to others. 7

Smalley: Good basic energy and performances on this symphonic-ish, melodic black/death metal offering, but most of their hooks are kinda tepid, and just don’t, well… hook me enough. Maybe someday though. 6

Nightwish: Imaginaerum Nightwish: Imaginaerum

5.4/10

Lord K: This is a bold album and I applaud the work that’s been put into it. It’s not really what I expected which makes me appreciate it a bit more than I thought I would. Cumbucket v.1 is definitely forgotten now. Fairytale metal can be quite fine if it’s done like this. But do not fear – there’s a lot of very irritating stuff on here too. 7

Habakuk: Infectious Happy Metal catchiness aside, once more, this chick can sing and the whole thing is decent cinematic background music. And you know who’s not missing? Tarja Tunurnnrurun. 5

CadenZ: I died a little when I realized that I like the single track “Storytime” more on each spin. All in all, if you’re going to go big – go fucken BIG. This album is huge. It’s pretentious. And it’s pretty fucken good. Meticulous orchestrations, a vast production and a keen sense for hooks make this a winner. I just died a little more. 7

Revenant: My first Nightwish experience and, unless my sanity escapes me, my last. Symphonic carnival metal? No thanks. 4

Smalley: See: my comments on Nemesea, just with weaker chick-vox, more (sym)phony nonsense, and more heaviness added. So, not all that similar to Nemesea then, but still about as bad. 4

Night In Gales: Five scars Night In Gales: Five scars

5.2/10

Lord K: I always thought these guys’ moniker was incredibly stupid. That still stands, but their modern metal holds up somewhat ok. 5

Habakuk: At the Gates. Night In Gales. Get the AIDS. Good emulation though. 6

CadenZ: A mix of good and bad makes for average. Excellent 90’s Dark Tranquillity-esque double guitar leads mingle with extremely sucky metalcore vocals. With some quality control and another vocalist, this could’ve gone somewhere. 4

Revenant: Really? Night in Gales? That’s the best you could come up with? Oh man… there’s a couple of good melo death songs here, but the Lindberg wannabe on vocals drags this one down for me. 5

Smalley: As much ass as melo death generally kicks, the strangled-chicken vocals here really kill a lot of the potential enjoyment that could’ve been had (and there could have really been a lot of had-enjoyment). Get a new band name, too. 6

Einherjer: Norrøn Einherjer: Norrøn

4.8/10

Lord K: The only band I can stand in this ridiculous viking genre is Amon Amarth. Einherjer then? Well, eh… Nice Gollum-vocals. Eh… Not. 3

Habakuk: Heathen hate, rahhhh! Interesting production job, ballsy execution, no humppa. Don’t wanna know their agenda, but musically this sounds pretty good. 7

CadenZ: All metal with folk influences balance on a knife’s edge between mighty-and-bombastic and corny-as-fuck. Einherjer just fell off. 3

Revenant: There’s a great epic viking atmosphere to this with its marching beat and chanted choruses, but it does drag in a few sections and fails to meet its potential. This is my first Einherjer experience, and it’s left me with the strange desire to explore their back catalogue rather than listening to this one again. 6

Smalley: “Viking metal” that removes the cheesy charm of some of their “genre” peers, replacing it (for the most part) with annoying, Teutonic-y drill commands, and tedium. 5

Venom: Fallen angels Venom: Fallen angels

4.6/10

Lord K: Seriously? Venom sucked in the past, but they sucked in a good way. Now they are just completely irrelevant to all things metal. 3

Habakuk: Are you fucking kidding me? Venom?? This shit actually rocks pretty damn hard after a beer or two! 7

CadenZ: Cronos, kill yourself. Or this travesty of a band, at the least. Please. Fucken. Do it. 2

Revenant: This is a reasonable attempt to relive their past greatness, but it is so completely unremarkable that even with my cock under the hammer I couldn’t recall a single riff or chorus off this record. 5

Smalley: For how long Venom’s been around kickin’ it, “Fallen Angels” is a better, more energized effort than expected. Still not really good, but not as bad as it could’ve (should’ve?) been. 6

Nemesea: The quiet resistance Nemesea: The quiet resistance

4.2/10

Lord K: Despite having a fucken pussy in the band (well, on 2 accounts actually) I still really dig their previous album. This one is not as good, but still it’s some easy-listening rock stuff that I can appreciate. Mostly thanx to the cunt’s excellent vocals. 7

Habakuk: Okay, this is one of K’s chick bands. Although said chick can sing and they don’t fail technically, I have to turn this off after 3 songs. Oh wait. There is a song with Till Lindemann! 4

CadenZ: Yes, I’d do her. Yes, she can sing. Yes, this is gay. 3

Revenant: Move along, nothing to see here. Just another generic modern female fronted rock band. No need to loiter. 3

Smalley: Her voice is kinda pleasant, but besides that, Nemesea is just more ball-less (get it??) chick-metal for the Lacuna Coil/Hot Topic crowd. 4

Anubis Gate: Anubis gate Anubis Gate: Anubis gate

4.2/10

Lord K: Danish “prog/power metallers” Anubis Gate is a new acquaintance to me. After this album I’m not sure we’ll see each other too often ever again. Not horrible, but definitely not even close to great. 4

Habakuk: What is this? An Amoral clone band? FUCK! 2

CadenZ: Decent prog metal with semi-gay vox. Apparently this is the Danes’ fifth full-length, but the first that I’ve heard. Might look into their back catalogue. 6

Revenant: Light, clean and inoffensive. That’s three reasons why this doesn’t appeal to me. 4

Smalley: More sorta-power metal; I kind of like the guy’s voice here (though it is generic), and the music’s more interesting than Amoral’s was, but not by enough. Plus, they tend to let their songs go on for too long. 5

Voyager: The meaning of I Voyager: The meaning of I

3.8/10

Lord K: Voyager’s last album is actually kind of excellent at times. I am not as floored by this one, but perhaps it’s a grower. “Progressive” and catchy. 5

Habakuk: I hope your next voyage leads far away from me. 3

CadenZ: The most fucken annoying “vocalist” since… eh… Lou Reed on “Lulu”? Possibly even worse. Phrasing, pronunciation, rhythmics, timbre, accents… everything sucks. Stale fucken shit from the sewers beneath the Vatican. Holy shit, that is. The music and band get a 4 for their boring snoozefest version of melodic metal, but regarding the atrocious vocals, that are of course mixed way up in your face, I cannot do an average score. No I cannot. Cannot. 2

Revenant: Buckle your seatbelts, I’m about to make a big statement here. Voyager are (wait for it) the second best prog metal band from Perth. High fives all round in Voyager right now. Accolades don’t come much bigger than that. Print that shit on a sticker and put it on the front of your album. Guaranteed sales right there. You’re welcome Voyager. 5

Smalley: “The meaning of s(I)gh” is cheesy, (Sym)phony X-wannabe prog with awkward, English-as-a-second-language-ish vocals. Nope. 4

Amoral: Beneath Amoral: Beneath

3.6/10

Lord K: Vocalist Ari won the Finnish edition of “Idol”. Prize: join Amoral and suck. 3

Habakuk: Come on. We fucken know this sucks. Never ever again cry about “not enough media exposure for metal”. This is exactly what happens. 2

CadenZ: A modern, heavier version of Whitesnake is what Amoral have become. These guys released an awesome melotechdeathrash album (“Decrowning”) in 2005, but since the midget winner of the Finnish Idol competition took over the mic the A-mos have been softening up their style. The best cuts and moments on “Beneath” are, naturally, the techier riffs and the parts with growls (which are, surprisingly, decent enough). This is a bit better than “Show Your Colors”, but not by much. 5

Revenant: I spent the first half of this album trying to work out if the singer was a teenage boy or a woman. In the end I decided it was a woman. Turns out it’s a guy. And he won Finland Idol. Wow. Embarrassing. The music behind him isn’t too good either. 3

Smalley: Dull, squeaky-clean, toothless, pseudo power metal; no fun for the entire family to be had here. 5

Dead By April: Incomparable Dead By April: Incomparable

3.4/10

Lord K: Happy Camper “metal” that leaves such a sour taste in your mouth I rather go on a diet of lemons than ever listen to this tripe again. Over-produced, over-quantized and plain all-out repulsive. This is the definition of soulless music. 2

Habakuk: During song one, I actually thought this was one of K’s typical chick bands – until I saw a band picture. Synth-laden, poppy, catchy, melodic teenage metalcore. For what it is, acceptable. Seriously. 6

CadenZ: Auto-tune vocals. Faux-harsh riffs. Techno/pop synths. Teenage angsty melodies. Lyrics about hearts and them breaking. The Kings of Emo are back. Surprisingly enough I found a couple of cool riffs here, and some of the high-pitched screams are actually nice as fuck. Not much to do about the band sucking it hard, though. 2

Revenant: There’s an obvious line here about April not being soon enough, but I’ll pass on that. What style do we call this anyway? Trance music meets Savage Garden meets Raunchy meets… whatever, I’ve already wasted enough time thinking about this. Let’s just say it’s better than all the metalcore releases we get on AA, but it’s still like having sex in a garbage tip (ie. fucking close to rubbish). 4

Smalley: Garish, whiny, metalcore/techno abomination horseshit; fuck. This. Ugh. 3