Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Disiplin - Anti-Life [2005]

Band: Disiplin
Album: Anti-Life
Genre: Black Metal
Release year: 2005
Label: Moonfog Productions

After quitting Myrkskog in 2000, General K amassed his troops and orchestrated Disiplins eponymous first effort. 2003s "Disiplin" was a simply, yet effective black metal album, not treading new ground, but doing what it did and doing it well. The follow-up, Anti-Life, marked the entrance of a different beast, if a beast at all.

The first track, "Orthodox Devil Worship", starts off with a seemingly endless sample of some Serbian (or something) guy talking and laughing. The instruments join the syncopated fray, and soon transforms into a powerful, chunky riff-fest. Not exactly what we've come to expect from Disiplin, or black metal in general, but it surely works, and the pace quickens after this. So far General K is in shape, and vocalist Jonas Ausslavia snarls spiteful. But ach! This pleasant surprise doesn't last long before a misplaced and decidedly weak, Mötley Crüeesque chorus marks its arrival. The whole song goes downhill from here, the chunky pieces are dull and a sour taste of disappointment finds its place.

Next comes the second, and most accessible song, "Feed the Fucker to the Dogs". It's somewhat comparable to Lamb of Gods "Redneck". Above middle paced, catchy but somewhat forgettable nonetheless. It's a nice change after the fuckfest that was "Orthodox Devil Worship" though. The third, and undoubtedly best and most blackened, track is the albumtitled "Anti-Life". Finally, General K gets hold of his battleformations and spits out a decent, crushing black metal song. A mainriff that rolls over you like a German tank and a nice dissonant middlepiece with added tremolo picking. Finally, something good from start to end!

- And unfortunately the last. The rest of the tracks are mainly filler, with occasional interesting parts, as "Kill at Wills" 20 second blastbeat frenzy. "The Arsonist Academy" could've been a nice, thrashy anthem, had it not been ruined by the unwelcome feature that is Nattefrost, and the sub-par execution of the cliché, and yet entertaining chorus. "Kosmos Reversum" is the last halfway decent track, but unfortunately, it falls into the same trap as most of the album. Nattefrost makes another pisspoor appearance on "Pesticide - Swallow Your Own Shit", which is basically a bad Carpathian Forest song.

Most of this album is completely forgettable, and not listenworthy. Safe for the few first tracks, nothing new is brought to the table here. Disiplin boldly experiments on "11", which is a sort of cool track, reminiscing the works of Stillborn, but unfortunately doesn't fit anywhere. Lastly, album closer "Chaos Triumphator" is an almost 6 minute long noise/sample, that is the equivalent of getting the static noise-cock of a nonworking radio stuck in your ear. This track, paired with Disiplins previous flirting with fascism (check out the cover of their first album, "Disiplin") gives a pointer to Disiplins future, marking a complete departure from metal, and their journey into fascistic noise.
General K should be stripped of his stars, and Nattefrost? That fucker should've been fed to the dogs.

Andreas "Beerfast cereals!" Damgaard

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Splitter - En Sörglig Historia [2006]

Band: Splitter
Album: En Sörglig Historia
Genre: Grindcore
Release year: 2006
Label: Obscene Productions

Sweden; in metal, this Scandinavian country is most often associated with the Gothenburg scene and melodic death metal. This is a shame though, for Sweden has had many other influental, and uglier, bands - need I mention the likes of Nihilist (later Entombed), Dismember and Grave? As we divert from the wellpolished, clean path of melodic death metal, we find a much more gritty beast in the underbelly of Swedish abominations - grindcore.

Swedish grindcore has always carried that special vibe, akin to postmodern black metal. Mournful, cold, and yet curbstompingly brutal. Splitter is indeed one of these bands. After the demise of mighty Nasum in 2005, there were speculations of the torch could be lifted. And fuck me with an IKEA-chair if it couldn't.

The first track, Krossad, kicks in with a barrage of chaos and dissonance, and is hellbent on pummeling the listener into submission. This is of course nothing special in grindcore, but around the twenty-second mark, a change occurs. The aforementioned vibe kicks in, carried by the howling shrieks of vocalist Frederic "Fredde" Thalbeg, and the superbly despairful guitartone of either Niklas Holm or Thimmy Broden. One sees not the brutal, but cartoonesque, gore grindcore usually conjures, but rather a vision of Stockholmian concrete wastelands.

The following tracks follow the chaotic, dissonant attack, only interrupted by sections of bleak despair. While this may sound formularic, it certainly isn't. None of the tracks get boring, since they are all under the two-minute mark, and all have their distinct features; "Status" utilizes a very significant and interesting main-riff, and descends into pure brutality with slower, groovier sections paired with the abyssal growls of Fredde. That man certainly has range. The lightning speed of the songs ensures that the listener gives the record another spin - you want to hear those short, but awesome moments again.

"Tidsinställd Kollaps" is another favourite; much like "Status", it has a very unique mainriff, and a crushing, necksnapping death metal section. Even the drums are different, and sort of jumpy here. "Landets Blinda Undergang" even has a melancholic feel to it, and album closer "En Plats För Alla" features a superb staccato section.

All in all, this EP is the best grindcore I've heard in a long time. Distinct and innovative, yet still belonging to a tradition, this 16 minute long bleak beast gives you a run for your money, and places Splitter at the same level as Swedish grindcore giants Nasum and Gadget. Jävla bra!


- Andreas "I write when I'm sober!" Damgaard

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jungle Rot - Kill On Command [2011]

Band: Jungle Rot
Album: Kill On Command
Genre: Death Metal
Release year: 2011
Label: Victory Records

JUNGLE ROT, an American Death Metal outfit, have gathered a big and loyal fan base over the past ten years with their savage music and war-themed lyrics. However, they are different to most of the death metal bands in the extreme metal scene as they take influence from bands like SLAYER and SODOM, as opposed to some of the bands that prefer to rip-of CANNIBAL CORPSE’s and SUFFOCATION’s sound.

The first track, THEIR FINEST HOUR feels like a hammer coming down on the listener’s ears with its heavy riffs and violent drum sections. The vocal are beastly and the barrage of double bass pedals can only be described as violently good. BLOOD TIES blasts next with a intro of barbaric proportions. The riffs are masterfully played and bring a whole new level of metal to the track. The drums are pretty much as heavy as a ton of bricks on this track as well, whilst the breakdown is both crushing and amazing. RISE UP AND REVOLT takes a slightly different turn, with a slight use of melodic riffs whilst staying beefy and demonic at the same time. The vocals sound extremely bloodthirsty on this track as well. The title track, KILL ON COMMAND, begins with an intro composed of the sounds of tanks and choppers moving towards the battlefield. The music slowly fades its way on to the track. The drums are very precise and technical and the vocals sound much deeper, sounding more aggressive and savage. KILL ON COMMAND is certainly one of the more brutalising and dominating tracks on the album. There is emphasis on the drums in the introduction of DEMORALIZED but the speedy, face-melting riffs make up for that.

Next is PUSH COMES TO SHOVE with a solo-like introduction combined with some seriously beastly drums and deeper vocals. The riffs are heavy and destructive whilst the breakdown is violently amazing. I PREDICT A RIOT is certainly an interesting track as it features drum patterns heavy enough to break bones and riffs violent enough to shred flesh. However, the most interesting this about this track is the guitar solo-double bass pedal combo. NO MERCY (FROM THE MERCILESS) has a lot of breakdown styled riffs with more emphasis on the drums. The vocals are still going strong, sounding slightly more demonic than the rest of the track. The bass can heard clearly in some sections of this track, adding a deeper sound to the track, working well with the vocals. The solo is an interesting one as well, featuring some prolonged notes. BORN OF CONTAGION has a rough, raw and murderous intro. The track features some great riffs, beefy drums and hellish growls. Like the title track, its one of the more brutal tracks on the album. The final track is LIFE NEGATED which, despite being a great track, is too short. However, the riffs are awesome and the drum sections are great. LIFE NEGATED certainly could be marketed as a brilliant moshpit anthem.

From beginning to end, KILL ON COMMAND is filled to the brink with brutality. The album is virtually flawless except for a little bit too much emphasis on the drums on a number of tracks. KILL ON COMMAND has everything a death metal album should have - Savage riffs, brutal drum work, deep and beastly growls and a raw, middle-finger attitude.


Nico Davidson