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Audio autopsy

Audio Autopsy - March 2008

01/03/08  ||  Global Domination

Vicious Art: Pick up this sick child Vicious Art: Pick up this sick child

8.3/10

Lord K: One of Sweden’s finest live bands return with “Pick up this sick child”. And with it they take their quality death/thrash/whatever a bit further up the mountain. With clever arrangements, catchy riffs and 2 of the best voice-combinations in metal, Vicious Art can’t fucken fail. And they won’t. It’s time they get their deserved attention now. 9

Desolator: Vicious Art have won my attention by leaving a physically and mentally deformed motherfucker of a baby on my doorstep. What can possibly go wrong with crushing death metal combined with effective hooks? Looks like I’ve got an album to pick up soon before this kid throws up on me again. 9

Hanging Limbs: This is one of the best AA’s I’ve had the pleasure of participating in, some real first rate stuff. My 1-5 keys are feeling lonely. 8

Stephen Fallen: Death metal album of the year? Yeah, probably. 8

Abyss: If I had heard this album before the new year it would’ve without a doubt ended up on my Top 5 of 2007. I hope everyone with the faintest inclination towards blackened death metal with awesome vocals, amazing riffs, creative and tasteful drumming and fascinating lyrics take note of Vicious Art’s wonderful art. A very close 10. 9

Seker: Sporting some of the weirdest lyrics this side of Pan.Thy.Monium, Vicious Art rip and tear their way through old school death metal convention with some inspiring vicious (bet you didn’t see that coming) material. The percussive groove riffs and gnarly bass sound remind me a bit of Seance’s second album (always a good thing), and the vocal tandem attack of the legendary Jörgen Sandström and Dominion Caligula’s Jocke Widfeldt is deliciously brutal. 7

The Monolith Deathcult: Trivmvirate The Monolith Deathcult: Trivmvirate

7/10

Lord K: TMD has a passion for chaotic death metal, that’s for sure. I remember I liked that last album of theirs, though it’s nothing I listen to on a daily basis. I just recall it was full of good and blasting death metal. It’s no different this time around. Bonus points for the small electronic bits thrown in here and there. That gives it all a fresh fucken touch. 7

Desolator: Well, this is something very original in a good way. I love how these guys have mixed their death metal with some killer industrialish and symphonic shit. Along with TPH, Aborym and Iperyt, TMDC are another band that have effectively mixed musical styles that wouldn’t normally be caught dead in the same song. 8

Hanging Limbs: Definitely the best name of all the AA bands this month. It reflects the music well, which is incredibly inspired and grand. Much like The Project Hate, they effectively incorporate a ton of influences and styles into the music. The amount of potential this band has is ridiculous. 8

Stephen Fallen: Wow, cinematic keys, trippy and fucking tasteful electronics, cheesy aboriginal chants, fun, craziness, monolithic riffs, raspy growls, tight song writing and death metal. I can’t tell if this band is comically serious or just pulling my leg – I don’t care either. This album is fucking awesome. I love it. 8

Abyss: Fusing potent and brutal death metal with traces of doom and synthesizer-sounds, The Monolith Deathcult serves up an album that’s every inch as impressive as Behemoth’s and Nile’s past few albums. A large part of this album is so good and violent that I had to wipe out a couple of endangered species the first time I heard it. Brutal, catchy, unpredictable and memorable. Great. 8

Seker: Sorry guys, but there’s only one deathcult that I’m a member of, and that’s The Chasm’s. You’ll have to take your Zyklon riffs and your keyboards someplace else. 3

Facebreaker: Dead, rotten and hungry Facebreaker: Dead, rotten and hungry

6.8/10

Lord K: Congratulations, Facebreaker. Despite the shitty moniker, you guys have it all nailed down when it comes to death metal the way I fucken love it. The groove is there, the fantastic vocals courtesy of Robban is there, the production is there and the fucken memorable songs are there as well. You can do nothing wrong. I take a bow. 9

Desolator: Fuck… this made me bang my head so hard that I broke my face on the computer screen. I should still be able to continue my services on GD though. 7

Hanging Limbs: With a name like Facebreaker, I’m almost disappointed with the lack of tough guy aesthetics. On the other hand, I’m still recovering from the meat wagon that just rolled over my head when I put this album on. This is bludgeoning redefined. 7

Stephen Fallen: There are five amazing songs on this album. Unfortunately, it’s a ten track cd and the other five songs don’t measure up. 6

Abyss: What Facebreaker got going for them is a formidable growler and some pretty smoking, though unoriginal, riffs and bits. Nothing new under the sun but what you get is definitely enjoyable. 7

Seker: By-the-numbers old school Swedish death metal that isn’t very memorable by any stretch of the imagination. At least it’s not some deathcore piece of crap like I thought it was going to be. 5

Dismember: Dismember Dismember: Dismember

6.8/10

Lord K: Dismember wouldn’t know how to sound like anything else but Dismember. They have been doing this particular style for about 500 years now and there’s no letting up. It doesn’t matter that creative force/drummer Fred Estby took his basketball fills and left the court, Dismember sounds like they always did. And I definitely applaud that. 7

Desolator: Chunky beef death metal is to be expected here, and boy was it injected into my ears. Dismember’s new effort is very, very solid. If you dig downtuned madness, you should grab this. Simplistic, rotten and effective. “Under A Bloodred Sky” holds some tunes that are similar to those of Vader’s “Dark Age”. 8

Hanging Limbs: The seemingly random bits of traditional heavy metal make this disc even more fun than it would be otherwise. These olde-tyme heroes know exactly how their music should sound and I can’t complain. “Dismember” destroys the last Entombed disc, that’s for sure. 7

Stephen Fallen: Even during the best of times I’m not a huge Dismember fan and their past couple albums belong in the sewer with all the other shit. This album, on the other hand, is actually kind of good. It’s not “Everflowing Stream”, but it’s definitely worth a listen for fans of early that early 90’s Swedish shit. 6

Abyss: You can tell this is a pretty good AA-month when death metal legends Dismember aren’t among the best bands for me. Still, Dismember are just like Bolt Thrower; reliable and with a very high standard, even at their worst. 6

Seker: Heh heh, sounds like they got their old guitar sound back. I’m loving the seamless combination of brutality and NWOBHM melodic work on this release, particularly on songs like “Tide of Blood” where a melodic phrase will have a crushing, brutal resolution. Surprisingly enough, the new guys actually mesh pretty well with Dismember’s well-established sound while still managing to have a unique sense of style. 7

Meshuggah: obZen Meshuggah: obZen

6.5/10

Lord K: There’s alot of talk about how Meshuggah’s went back to their old, glory days with this album. Then I must be completely fucken deaf becoz I don’t hear much of it. It’s nice to get some straighter beats and riffs though, something Meshuggah’s not exactly spoiled us with since “Destroy, Erase, Penis”. Still they have a long way to go before being on par with that masterpiece. As a whole, this is definitely a little easier to get into than the last 400 albums, which is nice. The opening of “Bleed” is just fucken unreal, by the way. 7

Desolator: Hmm, did the guy in the cover art conduct an anal probe? Whether he did or not, this is some awesome downtuned thrashy shit. It sounds like the drumming is intentionally out of time, and the results aren’t bad. I can see the capitalization is out of time too, hence the uppercase “Z”. Since the tunes here sound pretty awesome, the awkward spelling is justified. And yeah, I wouldn’t like to get drunk with that anal probing guy in the cover. But then again, beer is beer. 7

Hanging Limbs: These guys almost always find a way to sound fresh. Lots of bass and buzzsaw here, along with a first rate lesson in all things rhythm. 7

Stephen Fallen: A lot of people hoped “obZen” would be a return to the ‘Shug’s earlier “Destroy Erase Improve” sound. It isn’t, not really, but it is more enjoyable than “Nothing” and “Catch 33”. The main appeal comes from an increase in speed and a sense of forward momentum, two things those plodding prior releases lacked. 7

Abyss: Talk about a return to form! Though I really liked “Catch 33” and “I”, I’m glad to hear Meshuggah once again writing actual songs with an beginning, middle and end. There’s some really really strong riffs and song-structures on “obZen” and very little filler-material. 8

Seker: This record sounded very promising for the first five minutes, like an updated take on their second album with more ambiance to it, but after a while, it just got annoying. Polyrhythmic drumming be damned; you can only grind a recombinant patterns of DUN DUN DUN into your listener’s skull for so long. I’ll stick to Autechre’s new album for my odd-time percussion fix, thanks. 3

Decrepit Birth: Diminishing between worlds Decrepit Birth: Diminishing between worlds

6.2/10

Lord K: Sometimes bands tend to get lost within their own technicality, forgetting that songs have to groove and at least have a bunch of accessible parts to actually be remembered after the first listen. Decrepit Birth is definitely one of those bands. Too much, too soon, too often. But fun to listen to for a few minutes. 4

Desolator: Thanks to the namesake, I expected full on br00tal goregrind that I would find blocking my fucken toilet. Thankfully I was wrong about that. There is enough guitar wankery to fill the band’s amp crates with the fretboard ejaculated output. Over the top technical music isn’t usually my thing, but I should fret not, for there are many moments where the technicality adds to my enjoyment. There’s also some good groove and melody. But yeah, these fellas need to be careful with their fingers so they don’t get carpal tunnel. 7

Hanging Limbs: Anyone hoping for goregrind will be disappointed. If you were hoping for technical death metal with enough brutality and cohesive chaos to get you through your day, then look no further. 8

Stephen Fallen: Decrepit Birth’s first album was a dull brutal death metal affair. “Diminishing Between Worlds” is a different, better sort of beast with lots of good solos (think Schuldiner, only not quite) and a cleaner sound. It’s an enjoyable listen from start to finish. 7

Abyss: When you’re called Decrepit Birth I expect some hardhitting fucking death, not a limp slap on the wrist. Despite flaring solos and blastbeats left and right I’m left with a distinct sense of… not very much. 4

Seker: Well, fuck me! I had Decrepit Birth pegged as a Disgorge rip-off (in other words, a rip-off of a rip-off of a rip-off of Suffocation), but these Californian death metallers really kick things up a notch on this album, mixing highly emotive and engaging melodic work into their brutal death metal degeneracy. BAM! 7

Hate: Morphosis Hate: Morphosis

6/10

Lord K: Polish death metal, you all know what that means. 7

Desolator: Hate sports the dream moniker while delivering the music that fulfills any death metal fan’s dream. This album even has acoustic passages and industrial tunes but it’s mostly the solid death metal that exists. This music is aggressive and groovy like a hooker with demons fucking her in the ass from the inside. “Omega” is a fantastic track. 7

Hanging Limbs: Please don’t spare any creativity with your name. Oh, all is forgiven, you guys rock sorta hard. 6

Stephen Fallen: Sure, Shaq will make the Phoenix Suns a better rebounding team. And he’ll block some shots, ignite some fast breaks and be a powerful defensive force under the basket. All that stuff is great, but the experiment will ultimately fail because: A.) Shaq and Steve Nash are both terrible at defending the pick and roll. B.) The Lakers and Spurs are both very good at running the pick and roll. C.) Shaq is currently playing 30 minutes a game and at that rate he’ll need a Segway to get up and down the court come April. The thing that drives me crazy? The Suns could have gotten Kevin Garnet for Marion, 6 million in contracts and a few lottery picks last summer. That would have made them better now and in the future. Instead they wait until mid-season and make a knee-jerk trade that won’t work. 4

Abyss: Polish death metal, you know that’s gonna be some quality shit! Hate impressed me greatly with the last album and I’m glad to hear that they still kick unholy ass on “Morphosis”. Slightly more variation to the vocals would’ve been nice but that’s nitpicking. 7

Seker: These guys are Polish? They sure don’t sound like it. They do sound pretty cool though: blackened death metal with lots of weird little things thrown in. The drums are fast as hell, and though this album is a bit modern-sounding for my taste, I can’t fault their skills. 5

Dark Fortress: Eidolon Dark Fortress: Eidolon

5.8/10

Lord K: My next band is going to be named Bright Shining Castle and then I’m going on tour with these mongoloids. They will be the support act coz their wellplayed (semi) black metal will be the perfect build-up to the powerful power metal of power that I will play with Bright Shining Castle. 6

Desolator: I’ve heard strip-teases from the other Dark Fortress albums and those provoked a fortified boner from me for sure. That’s why I knew this was going to be good. In fact it’s even better than I expected. Fuck I LOVE this shit. With “Eidolon”, Dark Fortress have outdone whatever previous material I heard from them. This puts some of the best elements of Watain and Naglfar into an illegal boxing match, forcing them to fight for their lives. The atmosphere is very strong and the melodies are executed very effectively. 8

Hanging Limbs: Guess how this band sounds. Here’s a clue: their name is the English translation of “Dimmu Borgir”. If you guessed symphonic black metal, you win a cookie – but be forewarned, it’s an evil cookie. 6

Stephen Fallen: I’m reading Gene Wolfe’s “Pirate Freedom” at the moment and it’s really good. It’s sort of a condensed “The Wizard Knight”, with the high fantasy setting replaced by a 17th century Caribbean one. Wolfe is the best fantasy/Sci-fi author of the past 20 years, but his books never sell as well as trash like Terry Goodkind’s “Sword of Truth” novels (probably because they have lame names like “The Wizard Knight” and “Pirate Freedom”.) Anyway, check out his work, especially if the term ‘unreliable narrator’ makes you wiggly with delight. 4

Abyss: Melody-heavy black metal that I’ve already given my two cents about here. 7

Seker: Holy shit, Tom G. Warrior’s guest vocals on “Baphomet” are fucking diabolical! Other than that, there isn’t a lot here that I haven’t heard before, and though a few parts interesting, it’s a bit of a chore to sit through this whole album. They’re pretty much a less interesting Watain with some more stop-start riffs. 4

Legion Of The Damned: Feel the blade Legion Of The Damned: Feel the blade

4.8/10

Lord K: Are these guys hyped? I have a feeling they are. Then lemme ask you one thing: why? Is it becoz of the shitty vocals or the quite boring thrash metal they play? Or is it a combination? Whatever it is, I don’t give a fuck since this is boring music for boring people. 4

Desolator: This heavy thrashing death is pretty awesome! The grooves and riffs are strong, but it gets a bit samey after a while. Yawning of the damned. But still, nothing I’d piss on. I’m sure I’ll give it another listen, but not all the fucken album in one sitting, lest I become as restless as a mountain lion in a cage on his own. 6

Hanging Limbs: I have no patience for generic thrash riffs that I’ve heard 1000 times before. 4

Stephen Fallen: Why don’t you stop reading this article, John, and get your life in order. If your name is John and you happen to be high, chances are I just blew your mind. 4

Abyss: Didn’t this band just release a full-length? Productive little fuckers, good thing that they manage to maintain such a high quality on their thrash-writing. This is actually a better album as a whole then “Sons of the jackal” (which in retrospect quickly lost its luster) with some really cool songs like “Nocturnal predator”. 7

Seker: Legion of the Damned’s overproduced death metal goes in one ear and out the other. Why would you bother putting riffs this forgettable on an album? At least they can be proud of the fact that their name is really fucking dorky. 4

Rage: Carved in stone Rage: Carved in stone

4.3/10

Lord K: I’m not one of the 2 people who claim they are fans of Rage. 3

Desolator: Don’t let the moniker fool you, there is no fucken rage whatsoever. There’s not even a grain of anger in this shit, there’s only boredom. When I heard the lyrics “Go away, drop dead, this would be a better world”, I kinda wished this album would do just that. Lots of points were lost just because of the fucken terrible “Lord Of The Flies” track. That track almost made me puke, and only the beer’s supposed to do that to me! 2

Hanging Limbs: Audioslave was alright, but all the talk of the Rage reunion made me wonder if Tom Morello and Zach De La Rocha could still make decent music together. Instead of “Bulls on Parade”, we get progressive/power metal for lonely Europeans… what gives? 5

Stephen Fallen: Go play “Portal”. The cake may be a lie, but I swear you’ll find yourself satisfied. 5

Abyss: After completely falling of my radar with the last couple of albums I’m happy to announce that Rage seem to be back in good form, and it only took me 5:21 min to realize this. Opening track “Carved in stone” is classic (well, semi-classic since they sorta revamped their sound around “XIII” or so) Rage from the howling leads to the majestic chorus and Peavy’s rough voice. The rest of the album is good as well, but now and then I miss Mike Terrana going apeshit on the drums. 8

Seker: The technical bass work and occasional semi-thrashy sections are a bit interesting. Too bad the whole thing is shot through with a bunch of power metal. Just say no to power metal, kids. 3

Avantasia: The scarecrow Avantasia: The scarecrow

4/10

Lord K: There’s no denying this shit is well composed and ambitious as fuck. Easy listening, cheese and (hard)rock. Avantasia is only recognized becoz of the millions of famous and semi-famous guest musicians they have on each and every album. I don’t think that recognition is completely justified since it’s nothing but pretentious rock when it comes down to it. 5

Desolator: Unfortunately, the music is not as awesome as the cover art. I really like the first song, but the rest is as exciting as reading a shopping receipt. It must take a lot of talent and conviction to sing like this guy does, but it’s not my bottle of beer (especially the overly sleazy shit). A song title like “The Toy Master” sounds a little bit pedophilic, by the way. Is this what we call “power metal”? If so, I can see why it’s so shunned by the GD faction. 4

Hanging Limbs: Say whatever you want about Edguy and power metal in general, but this disc is undeniably catchy and may just be a true achievement for the style. Chest hair not included. 7

Stephen Fallen: I’m going to do something different for this month’s AA. Instead of coming up with increasingly silly and convoluted ways to say, “This album is a fucking waste of time,” I’m simply going to talk about random shit. For instance, No More Heroes is a lot of fun. I am a little disappointed with the story (especially after Killer 7 blew my mind), but waving the Wii Remote to decapitate enemies’ heads is a visceral thrill that’ll never get old. 3

Abyss: I’ve never been much of a fan of Tobias Sammet and his merry men in Edguy and I’m even less impressed with his further explorations into elven homoeroticism under the name Avantasia. It’s wellplayed and the guest singers (notably Alice Cooper, Roy Kahn and Jorn Lande) are ace but all in all it’s so heartstoppingly lacking any resemblance of balls I simply have to assume this will be bought by Germans and butch lesbians exclusively. 3

Seker: Apparently, this isn’t just Avantasia; this is Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia. Seriously, look at the cover. I’m gonna give this sub-Eurovision powerless metal the old heave-ho and listen to Kai Hansen’s Helloween. 2

Suicide Silence: The cleansing Suicide Silence: The cleansing

3.8/10

Lord K: Why is it that sometimes you just know what a band will deliver without even hearing them? And can someone, for the love of all competent drummers, teach this skin-fucko how to play a decent fast beat without cheating? Completely irrelevant music for the 14-year old who just grew out of his Slipknot shoes and now wants something more “brutal”. Man, look further. Alot fucken further. 3

Desolator: According to the bio, the influences are death metal, grindcore, hardcore and doom metal. This has a filthy and brutal sound, but it’s not really that exciting. It doesn’t sound too bad, and there are some killer moments for sure. But as I listen to this, I think about how much I’d rather be listening to Mistress. 6

Hanging Limbs: Both suicide and silence would be better alternatives to Suicide Silence. 3

Stephen Fallen: The penis drew his blade. There was no going back – it was a fight only the wiener would walk away from. No mercy would be granted, no quarter given. Holding his sword in a Pflug stance, the penis called down to his pursuers, “Know that I will fight to my death to protect the sanctity of Knob Hill”. With that, he charged into their midst… (To learn more, look for my upcoming book “The Spontaneous Erection of the Bishop’s Giant Hammer”). 3

Abyss: According to Wikipedia (that’s where I go for… y’know, the truth) SS is a deathcore band. According to me they’re a good death metal band. I’m still not sure if the two are mutually exclusive, but until I make up my mind I’m gonna keep enjoying “The Cleansing”. 6

Seker: Ha ha, that little noise they throw in every minute or so to prevent piracy is pretty awesome. I’d rather listen to forty minutes of that than this breakdown-dependent pile of horse feces they call an album. 2

Machinae Supremacy: Overworld Machinae Supremacy: Overworld

3.2/10

Lord K: Happy metal should be forbidden. And everyone playing it should be shot. And take a look at these lyrics taken from the title track, it reflects the music perfectly: “We’ve died a million times but we are not the walking dead. So fucking far from gone, we jump around and bang our heads”. You won’t fucken jump around anywhere near me, that’s for sure. 3

Desolator: Ooh look at me! I can record some electronically augmented cheese! This album is so bad that if you get arrested for stealing this, you are a dumb fuck and should get life imprisonment. And what’s with the stolen Super Mario Brothers tunes in the last song? I like cheese, but only the sliced kind that I eat with bread. And no butter or Vegemite is allowed. 2

Hanging Limbs: What the hell is this Disney metal bullshit? 3

Stephen Fallen: Do you have some interesting recipes? Send them to me, I’m always in the mood to try exciting new dishes! 2

Abyss: Self-labeled as “SID-metal” I find myself wishing Machinae Supremacy was more of both SID and metal. “Redeemer” was an album moderate on the game-sounds but with some really strong riffs and choruses, “Overworld” on the other hand have even less electronic parts then its predecessor and very little in the way of hooks and riffs. A disappointment. 5

Seker: Radio-friendly rock/metal with a lot of electronics. The electronic stuff is pretty cool. The ultra-generic modern rock isn’t. 4

The Agony Scene: Get damned The Agony Scene: Get damned

2.3/10

Lord K: For some reason I thought these guys were from Denmark. I’m fucken happy they aren’t coz it’d be a shame to live so close to that country if they were. TAS can take their hideous metal/hardcore hybrid and blow an army of goats. Don’t forget to swallow. 3

Desolator: Get damned? How about you get fucked? This album sucks hard and should not be allowed in a store, let alone in a fucken cd slot of any kind. Not even my asshole or toilet. Somehow, I knew this would be shit. I also suspect (and hope) this may come last. 1

Hanging Limbs: Metalcore is the agony scene. 5

Stephen Fallen: The single player campaign of “Call of Duty 4” presents some really interesting ideas. En route to one mission location, a dirty nuke explodes and knocks your transport chopper out of the sky. Your character is stricken with a deadly case of radiation poisoning and you control him as he crawls aimlessly around a ruined city, until he dies. It’s a very cool scene, but the emotional impact is lost because the character has no personality, no origin, no story… nothing to connect or endear him to the player. It’s a shame, because that scene had potential to be a defining moment in video game history. Instead, it’s merely a cool idea that will be forgotten about in 5 years. 2

Abyss: America’s take on melodic death is a failure in all aspects, I think that’s been proven time and time again. So why do they keep trying? 2

Seker: Get fucked! They’ve got an emo name, they’re on Century Media in 2008, and they mix up chugga-chugga riffs with weepy melodic shit. I believe this genre is called AIDS metal. 1