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Audio autopsy

Audio Autopsy - May 2011

01/05/11  ||  Global Domination

Amon Amarth: Surtur rising Amon Amarth: Surtur rising

7.4/10

Lord K: The System Of A Down cover is fucken hideous, that’s for sure. What’s good though is that “Surtur rising” sounds really vital and full of hits. The bear growls of Johan always puts a smile on my face and Amon’s knack for writing incredibly catchy riffs and tunes will obviously never let me down. Also, “A beast I am” is one of my fave Amon tracks ever, without a doubt. 8

InquisitorGeneralis: This is definitely a step up from “Twilight of the Thunder God”. Hegg’s vocals are heavier, the riffs are meatier, and the many of the songs have that zip from ten years ago that made Amon Amarth special in the first place. There are a few misses on here, but for the most part, this is another excellent record from the only viking metal game in town. 8

Habakuk: Next time, could I get my cheese without the death metal, please? Awesome. 6

CadenZ: Another above-average AA album. Nothing new, naturally; why waive worldwide winning ways? 7

Altmer: This most surely sounds like Amon Amarth. Seems like the Swedish boys have finally hit a wall concerning coming up with the most creative songs they can think of, though. Credit to them for sticking to their guns, but I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed compared to “With Oden Sucking Our Dicks” or “Twilight of the Thunder Titties”. A bonus point for having the songs grow on me and for recognizing that SOAD were a cool band. 8

Obscura: Omnivium Obscura: Omnivium

6.6/10

Lord K: In one of the strongest AA editions as of late, Obscura comes across dominating quite a bit. When bands are being technical for the sake of being technical – I usually can’t stand it. But when bands like Obscura, who gives a fuck about catchy melodies and riffs within the technical stuff – I am quite sold. Since Douchehammed and Necropagist obviously don’t know how to record a new album – trust me when I say that Obscura will fulfill your needs for technical death metal with some progressive elements. 7

InquisitorGeneralis: I really wanted to like this, but the clean vocals and songs with zero flow have turned me off. Normally, I stroke mad boners over melodic techdeath. When it comes to slower, melodic sections these guys owe Death and Control Denied some royalties. 5

Habakuk: Since these guys are from around here, I actually have one of their older discs flying around. It is with great pleasure that I announce they have become a lot more mature, and better at that. And you know what? I’m even getting a certain Death vibe. Yes, that Death. Plus a good dose of tech-death.7

CadenZ: With influences from Atheist, Cynic, Death and Morbid Angel, these Germans have created one of the better progressive/technical death metal albums released the last couple of years. Variation, atmosphere, expression and skill are mixed with great results. 8

Altmer: Tech death. It’s not exactly my genre, but for what it is I can live with it. I like this stuff better without vocals though, so all in all if I was gonna go this route I think I’d go for Blotted Science. But if you need something in that vein with useless vocals over the top of it, be my guest. Skills and songwriting are definitely brought to the table. 6

The Haunted: Unseen The Haunted: Unseen

6.2/10

Lord K: I admire bands who don’t give a fuck about expectations, bands who walk their own path. The Haunted are one of those and I applaud them. Sure, we all miss the good old thrash band they used to be, but hey – get over it, that was a long time ago. The Haunted’s exploring new ground more than ever, and I am really digging it. “Never better” is one of the best tunes these fuckers have come up with in quite some time too. Also, Dolving’s never sounded better. 8

InquisitorGeneralis: I am not going to compare old and new The Haunted. I know the band has changed and progressed over the years so I am not expecting “Made Me Do It: Pt 2”. However, “Unseen” is just too boring, too slow, and too unoriginal for me. The clean vocals really do suck. While it is clear the band still has tons of talent, the new direction is not for me. 3

Habakuk: This gives me a total Megadeth: “Risk” feeling. I don’t think this is bad at all, but if you expect a The Haunted album, steer clear. Big time. 6

CadenZ: “Unseen” is much too heterogeneous to give a just verdict to without giving it more time. Some of the gayer -core moments are at first off-putting, but underneath them a fantastic depth can be discerned. When I just heard a couple of songs off the record I thought I would hate this, but when you listen through the whole thing, many things click into place. I’m sensing that this is a humongous grower, but for now I’ll be a little careful with the grade. 7

Altmer: I’m unfamiliar with the band’s early works (thrash, right?) but this slower, groove-infested piece is an all right album by the Björler twins. There are a couple songs where Dolving is far too drawly, and those emo moments on the record need to go. More songs in the vein of “No ghost” are much appreciated, though. In a regular review this would be a 6,5, but here on AA we are always a bit nicer, so the Haunted receive a: 7

Torchbearer: Death meditations Torchbearer: Death meditations

6/10

Lord K: There’s no denying the quality these guys possess, but it’s still not enough for me to do a victorious jig. Melodic death/black/metal that ultimately leaves me without much of an impression. The world is too crowded with competent bands, few of them stand out in the end. Torchbearer belong to the latter. 6

InquisitorGeneralis: There is a lot of metal going on here; thrash, black, death, even a little progressive cheese can be found on “Deep Penetrations”. I don’t hate this, but I’m not trying to drug and/or fuck it either. 5

Habakuk: Quality shit from an outfit that obviously simply lacks the special something. Occasional melodic black metal goodness does not elevate this to more than “okay”, though. 6

CadenZ: As mentioned before, this is very nice while listening and then it’s gone for the most part. A little bolder and ballsier, and this could blow Vaticans. 7

Altmer: I thought I was gonna get death metal here, but the album opens much more like it’s black metal. It surely isn’t purely black metal (nor that with added keyboards). I recall hearing this is another Älvestam project. It definitely retains some of his sound, but Scar Symmetry it ain’t (it’s very well produced though). I think that this, along with everything Mr Älvestam has been a part of, needs to be considered to be melded into one band that collects the best moments from all his other works. His albums are too fragmented and they seem to lack a bit of inspiration here and there. I rather he release one good album every year than two half-assed ones. This ain’t bad, though. 6

Rotten Sound: Cursed Rotten Sound: Cursed

5.6/10

Lord K: They sure know how to bring forth the most brutal guitar sound courtesy of Sunlight Studios circa 1989. Competent death/grind (with emphasis on grind) as we are used to, but this particular genre never did much for me. And those guitars (no matter the great sound of them) are definitely too loud in the mix. 5

InquisitorGeneralis: Grind is just as formulaic to me as deathcore. This sounds the same to me as any other standard grind band out there. The shit production doesn’t help either. And go fuck yourself if you tell me it’s “supposed to sound that way”. Like crap? They nailed it. 2

Habakuk: Despite liking grind, the Swedish sort has never really done it for me. Still, this ain’t bad if you don’t expect miracles just because of the big name. 7

CadenZ: Fucken amazing. Aggression deluxe. I love these guys, RS never disappoint. Coolest album cover in ages to boot, have to get this on vinyl. 9

Altmer: I can tell that this is quality grindcore. Unfortunately, it’s also grindcore. I think that sums it up for me. The moments that aren’t just relentless bashing make up a bit for all the stupid noise on this record, though. But if you happen to like grindcore, by all means go out and buy this. 5

Benighted: Asylum cave Benighted: Asylum cave

5/10

Lord K: The French fuckos are actually capable of creating some decent death metal in between scoring French chicks with hairy armpits. I am not blown away but can appreciate the semi-innovative brand of death metal that blasts its way thru my Cerwin Vega’s, complete with Pro-Tools quantizations and everything. 6

InquisitorGeneralis: Listen to some Benighted while pounding your nuts with a sledgehammer or shoving an ice pick down yer dickhole… In those conditions it will be perfect. In a normal situation, this mix of brutal death and grindcore might be a bit too much. However, if you are on a first date with a chick (or dude if your name is Smalley) play “Asslicking Davedeath” as often as you can, as loud as you can. Penetration is bound to occur… in the anus. 4

Habakuk: Just because you name one of your run-of-the-mill death metal songs “Fritzl”, that doesn’t make you any more relevant.Congratulations for winning the Attention Whore of the Month Award despite fierce competition by Children of Bodom’s keyboarder. 5

CadenZ: Nice and brutal death metal with annoying shitty vox, burp alert code red. Otherwise enjoyable bashing. 6

Altmer: Once the music started I thought my ear canals were being raped by a squeaking hamster, his cousin the barfing otter, and a lot of very chaotic nonsensical metal (or is it grindcore? It’s grindcore, isn’t it?). Some of the solos are all right, but they seriously need to let go of the blasty grinding parts with shrieks. That is some terrible shit right there. I like my death metal without grind, thank you very fucken much guys. And fuck the vocalist. He seriously sounds like this sometimes: “REEEEE REEE AAAAAA”. I think that’s what they call “pig vocals” and I very much hope it fucks off to Pig Hell. 4

Cavalera Conspiracy: Blunt force trauma Cavalera Conspiracy: Blunt force trauma

4.8/10

Lord K: With song titles (“Burn Waco”, “I speak hate”, “Rasputin”) that would make a 3 year old look like Einstein and generic riffs de luxe, CC fires up one uninteresting and super-generic tune after the other. The Cavalera brothers will never re-create the magic of old. 4

InquisitorGeneralis: Igor seems to be making an effort to kick ass again on the ze drums, which is a major fucking plus. Max’s vocals though are rapidly going down the tube. Still, I like this more than I thought I would; groove/thrash metal done decently still strokes my boner. 6

Habakuk: Am I the only one who’s fed up with Max Cavalera’s one-dimensional bad-ass/revenge-lyrics in songtitle-chorus format? “Lynch Mob, judgement is now!”, yeah right. Now where’s my “Arise” copy? 5

CadenZ: The C-bros bring no-frills, to-the-point thrash outbursts that wouldn’t suck too much despite their brainless semi-dullness, if it wasn’t for one problem. Luckily, I already have a solution: let’s strip the lead guitarist off of his instrument, shove it up his ass and then let’s see how many songs he can ruin. Melodic shredding has no place here, cunt. 4

Altmer: A modern, boring version of Sepultura, brought to you by the Cavalera brothers (so, it’s basically Sepultura but called something else). Possibly the best post-Sep project that’s going around, but that isn’t saying much. I miss the days when bands like these were still relevant. Even though I was born in 1989. Because I am cool like that and can go back in time. And also, because, yes, modern thrash almost invariably sucks ass. 5

Within Temptation: The unforgiving Within Temptation: The unforgiving

4.6/10

Lord K: Barbecue metal? Eurovision Song Contest metal? Toy metal? Plastic metal? Within Temptation is a bit of all of those, and more. What’s not to like about the cunt’s voice and the incredible cheesy arrangements? 7

InquisitorGeneralis: Ha, you know I’m going to shit all over this female-fronted, symphonic cockpuke. I really, really hate this stuff. Read what Altmer has to say if you actually care about bands like this. I think it sucks. Honestly. 2

Habakuk: The first thing I saw from this album was a huge black and pink outdoor poster. This CAN’T be good. You know what though? This is so far away from metal, I can’t even apply genre standards anymore. If you’re looking for something between Jessica Simpson, Abba, Journey and the Dixie Chicks, this is your thing. For once, I think I’m with K on a chick band. And I’m not even in a good mood. 6

CadenZ: This would be so gay if it… wait, this is super gay. And really fucken good. A bombastic (fuck, do I hate the word, but that’s what this sounds like) production, semi-catchy choruses and professional arrangements. And an amazing vocalist. It’s ABBA metal and you know you like it. Minus point for the blatant Chris Isaak rip-off on “Faster”. 7

Altmer: Once upon a time these guys had a knack for catchy riffs and good melodies and choruses. This album displays exactly none of that. I fondly remember “Ice Queen” from years and years and years ago, when it was a hit in my native country. But this is fucking, pure, unadulterated shit. This is so fucking pathetic it borders on the unbelievable. Fuck Within Temptation, fuck the travesty they’ve become, and fuck their singer for not using her range. And that second guitarist is a third wheel. A horrible, horrible album. 1

One Man Army And The Undead Quartet: The dark epic One Man Army And The Undead Quartet: The dark epic

4.6/10

Lord K: I never cared for any version of The Crown and I never understood what’s so great about Johan’s vocals. This also applies to the band at hand. 4

InquisitorGeneralis: I feel like I have heard this shit 1,000 times before. Bland, boring death/thrash doesn’t do it for me anymore. That ship has sailed. 3

Habakuk: I guess this is okay for what it is. Unfortunately it’s still generic modern death / thrash and ultimately boring. 5

CadenZ: Modern thrash with screech vox, a melodious vein and even some darker nuances. Definitely better than what The Crown are doing these days. 6

Altmer: I did an edition of AA a while ago that had The Crown in it. That The Crown album was a mediocre album. This here is pretty much in the same vein: deathrash of the extremely, extremely dull kind. This is possibly the most boring album on earth. Good production, good playing, shitty songs and a tired style. How I fucken wish some of these artists had an original idea or vision that they could put into action. Much like Whitesnake (redundant ripoff of AC/DC) or Cavalera Conspiracy (redundant version of Sepultura), this is just the same: boring song after boring song. 5

Mercenary: Metamorphosis Mercenary: Metamorphosis

4.4/10

Lord K: I used to fucken semi-hate this band. That was long ago. Over the years they have started to grown on me a bit. I can appreciate what they are doing, no matter how fucken cheesy the actual music is. Mercenary’s a good band on all accounts, not any different from the other modern metal shit we are handed today – but still good. 6

InquisitorGeneralis: Do you like derivative melodic metalcore? Look no further my friends, because mercenary have all the clean vocals, unoriginal guitar lines, and basic song structures you could ever ask for! Meh, another suckfest on this month’s long list of suckfests. 3

Habakuk: I used to think highly of Mercenary as skilled songwriters and instrumentalists. A lot of that seems to be there still, but somehow their sound has changed to completely generic, overdone production included. 6

CadenZ: This album is so gay it just raped itself in the ass. Without lube. I thought this band was much harder, but I guess things change when your pupils turn into $‘s. 2

Altmer: If you’ve got “Symmetric in Design” or “Pitch Black Progress” by Scar Symmetry, there’s a good chance you’ve heard some of the pinnacle stuff of this genre. That’s right, Mercenary play some über-cheesy melodic death metal that is inferior in every way to how Scar Symmetry and Soilwork did it five to ten years ago. The vocals are really not up to par as well. There’s a good riff here, some nice melodies there… but it’s still melodic death combined with power metal keyboards. And much like Children of Bodom, they’re just not good enough at pulling it off. The lyrics and vocals are not as atrociously bad though, so I guess I’ll give them another point. 5

Rise Against: Endgame Rise Against: Endgame

4/10

Lord K: Who are you, why don’t you play metal and how the fuck did you end up in this edition? 3

InquisitorGeneralis: Why do people finger themselves to death over this band? All I hear is awful pop/punk/meladometal that sucks the big one. And, you guessed, the vocals are annoying to boot. Fail. 2

Habakuk: Fuck, I was thinking of Raised Fist until I turned it on. I’ll go with Propagandhi for this style who aren’t as disgustingly catchy. Rise Against I’ll leave for the 14-year olds. 5

CadenZ: You know when you’re driving your car and listening to some kickass music, and your dick rises against the steering wheel, presenting you with some acute navigational predicaments? Put on “Endgame” and save yourself and your fellow car poolers. Flaccidity is guaranteed. 2

Altmer: I have no idea what this is doing on AA. But it’s certainly a good punk record, even if it has absolutely zero to do with anything we review at GD. I’ll be a nice guy and review it on its merits. Energetic, powerful and rocking for sure. 8

Children Of Bodom: Relentless reckless forever Children Of Bodom: Relentless reckless forever

4/10

Lord K: I never understood what’s so fucken awesome about COB. Obviously this Laiho dude is a very gifted guitarist, which is good for him, but create some decent music that appeals to me is not his forte. I can’t even appreciate the guitar mastery. I have Yngwie for that. 3

InquisitorGeneralis: This record makes say the same fucking things I have said about Scrotom since I first fucking heard them; drop the keyboards, get a new singer, and just let Alexi play guitars ‘cause he’s pretty damn solid. Nothing’s changed on “Relentless…”, so I still am not going to care about this band. 4

Habakuk: They still play their wannabe hard metal for blond guys with not yet shoulder length hair. 4

CadenZ: Yes, it’s exactly what you could expect from CoB. Well-played but mediocre tunes, too many solos, an annoying drum production and a you’ve-done-this-before-but-better-you-fucks factor off the chart. 5

Altmer: What an extremely messy album. The “aggro moments” on the album are easily outweighed by Dream Theater copycatting or nicking 80’s metal riffs. Despite the attempt at being melodic, they are managing to suck at it hard (choruses? what are those?). Alexi’s vocals sound at least a little bit better than the last one. But I still reserve the right not to take Children of Boredom seriously. And for a good reason: this is like the third album in a row where they’ve basically tried the same gimmick without the songs to back it up. Hang it up, guys. You’re not writing another “Follow the reaper” any time soon. 4

Whitesnake: Forevermore Whitesnake: Forevermore

3.6/10

Lord K: The old hag who’s singing’s got a decent voice. For being 400 years old. 3

InquisitorGeneralis: This really sucks. David Coverdale needs to be checked into hospice. Really, who needs to be shot for allowing this to be made? The chorus of “Steal your heart away” will make you instantly burst into laughter and/or shit yourself. Go for the double whammy, it’s more fun. Time to die, Coverdale. 2

Habakuk: If you have never heard a guitar driven rock album, this is probably quite good. I think I have. 5

CadenZ: I’ve always loved 80’s Whitesnake, and this album brings more of the same. No instant blockbuster hits but I’ll be spinnin’ this motherfucker come summer for sure! 6

Altmer: Suck my white snake. 2

Jag Panzer: The scourge of the light Jag Panzer: The scourge of the light

3.6/10

Lord K: Excuse me while I sit down in the corner and shit myself. 2

InquisitorGeneralis: The band is not bad, but the vocals totally blow; a common theme this month. Power/thrash ain’t my bag baby, and Jag Panzer is certainly not changing that. 4

Habakuk: A Jagdpanzer is a “hunting tank” aka tank destroyer in German. Jag Panzer is sort of tolerable American Power metal with almost annoying vocals. In German: “Nein, danke. Haben wir schon.” 4

CadenZ: The golden oldies deliver some nice heavy/power metal with variations in the arrangements, cool solos and an OK vocalist with his balls intact. Quality’s a bit up and down but this sure is better than the average album in this genre. Which means it’s average compared to everything else. 5

Altmer: If the light is a scourge, how come you idiots are playing power metal by the numbers and you’re quite fucking poor at it? This isn’t dark music, you know, even if there aren’t any added GAY KEYBOARDS to cheese it up. If you really need power metal in your life, go listen to Sabaton, and stay away from this anemic piece of shit. 3

Adept: Death dealers Adept: Death dealers

2.4/10

Lord K: These assholes have been quite hyped in Sweden as of late. I even think they managed to win some “Best Swedish Band” poll in some shit magazine. So, what’s all the fuzz about? I have no fucken idea. Americanized, hideous, aiming-for-the charts plague “metal” with the obligatory clean vocal choruses in between what’s supposed to be the… eh… “metal” sections. This is the exact type of music you should despise with all of your heart. Excuse me while I go and throw up a little fucken ton. 2

InquisitorGeneralis: Do people just pass out deathcore handbooks now? Boring breakdowns? Check. Bland riffs? Check. Predictable song structures? Check. Shitty screamo/melodic layered vocals? Check. Jeebus, this truly is plague metal. 2

Habakuk: Not one minute has passed, everything sounds like ten other metalcore bands and we’re in the second breakdown already? I think that’s over my weekly dose. 3

CadenZ: I’m hoping the moronic generation of teenagers who listen to this kind of adolescent wannabe-tough assfuck metalcore abandon this style some time during the maturing process they’re bound to go through during the next few years. Otherwise you’ll most probably catch yours truly on the prime time news, flamethrower in hand. 1

Altmer: Strange album cover for a hardcore band, looks like something you’d find on any death metal record. The music itself is bland. If they were food, it’d be prefab. Me, I like homemade food much better. 4