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Audio autopsy

Audio Autopsy - July 2012

01/07/12  ||  Global Domination

Marduk: Serpent sermon Marduk: Serpent sermon

7,6/10

Lord K: Over the last few albums, Marduk’s starting to make me appreciate what they are doing. It sure took some time. When it comes to black metal with exactly zero compromises, My Swedish comrades carry the flag higher than most. Also, bonus points to the title “Hail Mary (Piss-soaked Genuflexion)”. That is poetry. 7

Habakuk: Took me a long time to get into any Marduk, but their latest works were pretty convincing, and no change here. Vicious. 8

CadenZ: Hail Satan. 9

Smalley: Nice, evil atmosphere here, but some reason, Marduk’s songwriting never tickled my pickle too much, and this one isn’t really an exception. 6

BamaHammer: The new Marduk might just be better than the old Marduk. 8

Sokaris: Crushing, filthy, dark and sinister. Mortuus’ vocals are absolutely insane, charismatic, enigmatic and disgusting. “Serpent sermon” slithers forth with absolute contempt for the listener. 8

Kreator: Phantom Antichrist Kreator: Phantom Antichrist

7,2/10

Lord K: According to the interwebs, “Phantom Antichrist” is like the best damned thing Kreator ever released. Is it better than this? Or even this Or this? Safe to say – of course it is. A bucket of human feces is better than those tragedies. But the important question remains… Is it better than this? You already know the answer to that. 6

Habakuk: Sounds as if Blind Guardian had taken the thrash path, turned angrier and released an album in 2012. 7

CadenZ: Either I’ve missed something, or Kreator have gone full-on variation mode with this album. Pure thrash it ain’t no more, anyway. If I zone out Mille’s über-annoying shouts, this is possibly the best Kreator album I’ve heard since “Coma of Souls”. 6

Smalley: The same intensity from before, but with more pleasing melodies and (especially) epic songwriting, Kreator have just kreated the best record of their entire career 30 years into it; amazing. Review. 9

BamaHammer: I never really liked Kreator that much, but this is fantastic. 9

Sokaris: I don’t mind the Gothenburg influences on newer Kreator overall, but I think they’re relying on them too much. 6

Grand Magus: The hunt Grand Magus: The hunt

6,3/10

Lord K: I kinda love this guy’s voice and can appreciate what they are doing while having a beer. Unfortunately I don’t drink beer every day or the score would have been higher. 7

Habakuk: Partly above expectations. Partly meeting expectations. Partly below expectations. 7

CadenZ: Following the initial disappointment, “The Cunt” has grown on me and I’m happy to add it to the list of GM records that I like, meaning their whole discography. 7

Smalley: Vanilla, bland-as-you-can-get metal; wake me from the coma once it’s over. 5

BamaHammer: I was still expecting a little more. 7

Sokaris: Retro straightforward heavy metal but it comes off as genuine. Title track is awesome. 5

Candlemass: Psalms for the dead Candlemass: Psalms for the dead

6,2/10

Lord K: “Prophet” is a semi-hit. The rest of the album holds the occasional fine tune, but overall this one confuses me a little bit. What are the church organs/whatever/keyboards doing in Candlemass to this extent? They sound out of place and doesn’t work for me. At all. Just listen to the mid-section of “Siren song” and you’ll know what I mean. On the good side; Lars’ solos are, as always, fantastic, now-fired Rob Lowe’s vocals are real fine and the production is working out killer… but those keyboards fuck up what could have been so much better. I was hoping for great farewell, “Psalms” is not it. Still, as I have said numerous times before, Candlemass will always be one of my all-time faves thanx to the first 4 albums. 6

Habakuk: You like Candlemass? Good. You’ll like this Candlemass CD. 7

CadenZ: A worthy goodbye. RIP, kings ov doom. 8

Smalley: The basic music is decent doom metal-lite, but the clean vocals just do not work for me at all. 6

BamaHammer: I’ve never liked Candlemass. There, I said it. 4

Sokaris: I’ve only recently begun digging through Candlemass’ material and I was plesantly surprised how much I liked the last couple. This is their final recording and while it’s not mindblowing they could’ve gone out on a lot worse. Why, oh why is “Swansong” not the final track? 6

Sabaton: Carolus rex Sabaton: Carolus rex

5,3/10

Lord K: As with Raubtier (further down in this edition), I dig this though I shouldn’t. Cheese on another level. I love the fucken fags in the band (even though 4/6 of them fucked off a while back) and will always support what these bastards are doing. You’ll never see me in a Sabaton shirt though, that’s for sure. I’m not that gay. 6

Habakuk: Happy Warnival. 4

CadenZ: Comparing “Carol’s Dix” (which doesn’t suck) to any other albums released by one of my least favorite bands (they all suck) is like comparing apples and… turds. Easy. This one’s better. 6

Smalley: Sry, just not into power metal at all anymore. If I was, I imagine I’d enjoy this, so you can take that as a praise if you want. 5

BamaHammer: Five cheese pizza with a little meat. 6

Sokaris: Triumphant, cheesy and ultra-Swedish power metal. Vocals took a little getting used to, but I definitely enjoyed the ride while it lasted. 5

Fear Factory: The industrialist Fear Factory: The industrialist

5,3/10

Lord K: One of the most sterile bands ever return with “The industrialist” and nothing is new. They sound like they always did, hate it or love it. I’m not particularly fond of this band, but there’s no denying they have done some amazing stuff from time to time as well as teaching me how important sub-basses are. Burton’s clean vocals are still quite hideous though. As said, nothing is new. And the fact there’s a drum machine on here makes exactly zip difference to their sound. Make what you want out of that. 5

Habakuk: Nothing has changed. The moment they don’t edit the shit out of the vocal material, Bell’s clean singing sounds absolutely horrible. The rest is tried and tested. 6.

CadenZ: Sci-fi aggro metal platoon no. 1 strikes again. And they aren’t as off the mark as they’ve previously been. Fantastically fucken funny, Fear Faptory. More soup for you! 5

Smalley: While I’ve gone relative easy on post-Demanufacture FF (‘specially Archetype), I’m rather disappointed with this one; had it come right after dud Transgression, I’d be happy, but since it’s after moderate return-to-form Mechanize, I really wanted a bigger step forward. It has some decent grooves/intensity/melodies, but it’s ultimately just another Fear Factory-on-autopilot effort. I’ll be happy to keep giving them more shots at this quality level, but if they stay content to rest on their laurels, they won’t be a “big-deal band” for me again. 6

BamaHammer: I stopped caring about Fear Factory in 1999. 5

Sokaris: Nothing surprising here, machine gun palm-muting and industrial embellishments with the occasional melodic choruses. “Recharger” was the song they let the public sample first and unfortunately that’s as good as it gets. The drum machine doesn’t make too much of a difference but I would prefer a human behind the kit. The ending track is one of the most pointless things I’ve heard since Strapping Young Lad’s “Info dump”. 5

Raubtier: Från Norrland till helvetets port Raubtier: Från Norrland till helvetets port

4,5/10

Lord K: I like Raubtier even though I shouldn’t, I guess (since I’m so fucken metal). But the up-front cheesiness is so well-crafted there’s just no way to not dig it. Catchy-as-fuck hooks and Hulkoff’s awesome voice is enough for me to somewhat capitulate. I suppose you need to be Swedish to appreciate this fully, though. 7

Habakuk: Oh my, oh my… Who needs a bad Swedish Rammstein clone? Låt napalmen hjärnor regna! 3

CadenZ: My hometown boys have gone from a good debut to an OK sophomore, and are now here with a disappointing third effort. The synths are still sub-par, the level of corniness is higher than before, which is saying a fucken lot. The hooks are coming further and further apart, maybe it’s time to lower the release frequency? 4

Smalley: Cheesy, histrionic, overblown metal with some cheesy techno touches, but somehow, despite my better judgment, I kind of enjoyed this. 7

BamaHammer: What the fuck is this? 2

Sokaris: Turisas meets Rammstein? It’s not the worst thing ever but it’s not great. One thing I can definitely state is that its cornier than a Nebraskan shithouse. 4

Slash: Apocalyptic love Slash: Apocalyptic love

4,5/10

Lord K: Now playing. 5

Habakuk: Return-On-Investment Rock. 5

CadenZ: High quality rock with a capable singer (Myles Kennedy) and Slash’s trademark tone. If we’re not getting a Gn’R re-union, this will have to do, and does. 7

Smalley: Terribly annoying vocals meets average songwriting; starpower can’t save you now! 5

BamaHammer: Why can’t old washed-up rock stars just die like everyone else? 2

Sokaris: I don’t necessarily want to trash Slash because he seems like a cool guy, despite me not being a fan of anything he’s done. Or maybe he just seems alright because his once close proximity to Axl Rose could make the douchiest of bags come off as a solid guy by comparison. This is rock of the butt kind either way. No thanks. 3

Shadows Fall: Fire from the sky Shadows Fall: Fire from the sky

4,2/10

Lord K: I hate when this happens. You don’t know what I am referring to? Well, my ass just exploded. That happens from time to time, most often when I get some incredibly awful music to listen to. BANG! ASS EXPLOSION! Fuck you, Shadows Fall. 3

Habakuk: This band is probably the best of their genre. And that’s as positive as it gets. 5

CadenZ: When god’s balls drop, their shadows fall like fire from the sky. With Jesus hanging by the pubes. By his neck. In other news, this album sucks. 2

Smalley: Far from the worst metalcore/“modern metal” I’ve ever heard, with a few solid moments, but I still can’t say I’m a fan. 5

BamaHammer: Sounds like these guys are getting back on track. Thrashier than they’ve been of late, and that’s a good thing. Now, about those whiny clean vocals… 6

Sokaris: Ultra mediocre, it really bothers me how much potential is wasted here. What once was a fresh and exciting band is now an act that does all it can not to rock the boat too much. 4

Kill Devil Hill: Kill devil hill Kill Devil Hill: Kill devil hill

4,2/10

Lord K: So, this so-called “superband” is nothing more than a rock band with nothing special going on? Not that I expected much, but I expected way more. 3

Habakuk: I liked the little grunginess, but not listening to this wasn’t half bad either. 5

CadenZ: Passable grunge metal. Good grooves but no apparent hit material. 6

Smalley: Not quite as bland as “The hunt”, but it’s not far off either, so wake me from the NAP once this is over. 5

BamaHammer: This is probably the most flat-out boring album I’ve heard in a long time. 3

Sokaris: Hyped up supergroup with terrible moniker. Vinny Appice holds down the kit with a lot of personality but overall this is mind-numbingly dull. 3

Mnemic: Mnemesis Mnemic: Mnemesis

4/10

Lord K: I never managed to get into these guys’ sphere. Annoying-as-fuck clean vocals, top notch musicianship and “futuristic” sounds planted in their modern metal tunes is not a recipe that works for me. And of course I am not doing any “mn” jokes. I believe we’ll be flooded with them anyways. 4

Habakuk: Evolution from a Fear Factory clone with the potential to surpass their influences to a “djent” band without it. Clearly, identity is not these guys’ thing. Mneh. 5

CadenZ: At times as gay as Finding Mnemo, at times as sweet as Devin Townsend’s dickbutt. 6

Smalley: Meshuggah-plagiarizing djent riffs (and some nu metal-y moments too), with whiny metalcore vocals? Count me the mnuck out. 4

BamaHammer: Mnot really my thing. Mnever going to be. 3

Sokaris: Mnope. 2

Crucified Barbara: The midnight chase Crucified Barbara: The midnight chase

4/10

Lord K: Chick bands usually get overlooked, and for good reasons. CB might have a shitty moniker and a lot of things going against them in this male-dominated rock world, but give them some slack. They do their rock/metal better than you would, even though you have a penis. It’s not blowing me away, but I have heard way, way worse shit in my life. 5

Habakuk: You can fake balls, but you can’t fake interesting songwriting. 5

CadenZ: Nice energy does not stupid glam metal save. Meh-mehety-meh-meh-meh. 4

Smalley: Dull, hair metal throwback that will only appeal to the hardcore fans of that style (do any even exist), with some terribly obnoxious lead vocals. I’d be more than happy to nail up Barbara myself now (no double entendre intended). 4

BamaHammer: No, really. Crucify Barbara now. 1

Sokaris: Much better than I originally expected, surprisingly it’s got some balls, er, ovaries to it. I’m not coming to get this Barbara but if you like borderline hard rock/metal this has its share of catchy chunks and infectious Motörheadisms. 5

Engel: Blood of saints Engel: Blood of saints

3,2/10

Lord K: I always thought Engel lacked something, no matter how well-crafted their previous albums were. On “Blood of saints” they have gotten the stuff together on a different level by incorporating tons more electronics than before and opener “Question your place” is excellent proof of how to steal Skrillex’ stuff and make metal out of it. It doesn’t all hold up though, but this one is their finest offering yet. 2012 metal to the bone. That term is both good and bad. 6

Habakuk: They have the clean vocals Fear Factory lack, but Fear Factory has all the rest. Not much interest for Engel here. 5

CadenZ: When In Flames goes on a dickbutt metalcore gay craze and incorporate dubstep into their music, you get Engel. The worst record since Alice Cooper’s latest. Fuck you very much, dickwads. 1

Smalley: Slam/metalcore riffage with incredibly clichéd, campy, overblown techno effects/beats…? Who the fuck thought this would work in any fucken way? 3

BamaHammer: Awesome. Someone finally integrated dubstep noises into another form of music. 2

Sokaris: Take the most mundane melodic metal, chuck in a bunch of nu-groove and indiscriminatingly dump some obnoxious electronic garbage. Basically this sucks dynamically and in multiple directions, like a talented pornstar but with much less dignity. It saddens me that the godlike Marcus Sunesson (The Crown) is involved in this. 2

Halestorm: The strange case of Halestorm: The strange case of

3/10

Lord K: Lots of talk about these guys (and gal). I don’t really understand the buzz, but Halestorm’s a good (rock) band. It’s understandable the focus is on the chicks’ vocals, coz she’s fucken good, and some of the material is insanely catchy at times and so forth… But Halestorm isn’t for you, you are too tr00 for this shit. 7

Habakuk: Failstorm. 3

CadenZ: So bitch can sing. Helps much? Negativo. Ekki-ekki-ekki-ekki-pTANG. Zoom-boing! Z’nourrwringmm. 2

Smalley: Part hair metal throwback, part bland, modern alt rock, and part feminine angst, and I ain’t feeling any of it one bit. 3

BamaHammer: Vixen was awesome. 2

Sokaris: Vacant-headed pop music with distortion is still vacant-headed pop music. This is just faux-edgy Hot Topic bullshit that checks off all the boxes and makes sure not to be too threatening in the process. This is my second 1 of the year and the hoebag that sings for this radio act was on that other album as a guest (Adrenaline Mob’s Omerta). That means its time to fucken die, someone do the right thing. 1