Autokrator – Persecution 9/10
French outfit Autokrator follow up the acclaimed 2018” Hammer of the Heretics” with the unrelenting Persecution.
Autokrator don’t just play brutal death metal for shock and awe, they have intent, intelligence and meaning. It is savage and barbaric in its execution. Couple that with exemplary musicianship, especially that of drummer Kevin Paradis and you have a precise intense musical killing machine that leaves you reeling.
Persecution, all 34 horrific minutes of it is not a mindless assault. It is a thematic journey of mans savagery and quest for power. Its Roman ancestry visited and updated. Vocals lines and drum patterns are delivered with primal military precision in particular the brilliant ‘Caesar Nerva Traianus’ with its dynamics and bought its natural conclusion in ‘Apocalypsis’. Its unsettling and intense a force of nature unleashed, fury unfurled and left unchecked.
‘De Gloria Martyrum Et Confessorum’, and the suitably epic ‘Antechristus’’are journeys of terror and incredible speed. David Bailey’s tortured throat is the anchor amongst the madness, the verbal descriptor of the horrors within, the voice of man’s primitive violent nature and the riffing on ‘Antechristus’’ is as precise and memorable as the chaotic solos that accompany it.
To be listened to as a whole oppressive body work. Persecution is an album that has a definitive beginning middle and end. Some bands say they play brutal, technical blackened death metal. Autokrator define this style with a performance of next level musicianship, coherence, and pure brutality.
Wombbath – Agma 9/10
Wombbaths’s music is tough, it is pure death metal that retains all their huge riffing and the tortured deathly vocals courtesy of Jonny Pettersson, the manic precise double kick work but as on “In Decay They All Shall Fester” it mutates into something else with a glorious dissonate riff that doesn’t sacrifice any of the heavy intensity
Agma is heavy and it is probably their best work. Its gloriously huge and amazingly well executed as on the manic “At the Giants Feet” with tonnes of speed and power yet the conjured chanting that occurs is organic and rousing.” The Age Of Death” is simply heavier than a box of rocks with its rapid fire 2/4 beat that commands you to get up pay attention with some excellent drumming from Jon Rudin that is precise yet without being self-indulgent. Wombbath strength lays in their power to create huge stomping memorable moments driven by energy that is captured by an excellent production.
Agma is unrelenting and ferocious “The Dead and The Dying” continue the assault and “Breathe in the Flames “uses the violin talents of guitarist Thomas von Wachenfeldt sparingly to add, and extra dimension to their musical Armageddon. “On a path of Repulsion “uses this perfectly, huge vocal lines with dissonant strings and choir elements accompanied by those kick drums! “Oh Fire of Hate” is exactly that and puts a definite mark on their death metal superiority.
Wombbath is more powerful than ever and have delivered a very special album. Agma is true death metal that is also diverse, and the result is very very exciting.
Swedish duo Blodtar redefine energic aggression with their debut self-titled release.
Blodtar is organic furious Swedish black metal that might conjure some moments of Dissection but then veer wildly into a beast of their own making. ‘’Djävulskap’’ sets the intent with the intensity that only black metal brings. Yet they are heavily influenced by the traditional sounds of their homelands. And yes, whilst there are brief acoustic elements of their forefathers, Blodtar take the extra step and immerse those melodies into their music directly with distortion speed and fury. ‘’Svartsejd’’ is a rousing fusion of this idea, the merging of the melody into the raw black chaos inspired and fresh. the inspiration of to fuse Swedish melodies directly into their music creates an excellent storytelling counterpoint and proves that the utterly heavy can be memorable and melodious yet remaining true to their spirit.
This four track EP is far too brief ‘’Aldrig mer’’ is more Nordic traditional hellfire rooted in mysticism and atmosphere. Precise and punishing Blodtar is a name that will only grow in status with their purity, intensity and their unique raw black metal that pushes the genre to new traditional limits. Blodtar is infused with contrast, mood, conviction and mindboggling speed. Unmissable.
Loose Sutures - A Gash With Sharp Teeth And Other Tales 8/10
Heavy on the Fuzz and the 70’s mighty doom riffing, combine that with a couple of shots of healthy upstart punk attitude you have the debut album of Italy’s Loose Sutures.
The sound is a big and organic. As fat as the doobie they’ve just rolled, this is the perfect good times kick back album, sink into your chair and let the reverb of the trippy ‘’White Vulture’’ wash over you and then hit you with a great big riff that is sure to get the head moving in appreciation.
Death Valley has the sort of riff that was conjured in a bong filled room with good times and a few beers thrown in for good measure. Whilst its inevitable sequel Death Valley II is a more mellow introspective journey that is a groove laden as part 1 but contains longer spontaneous jam sections.
‘’’Stupid Boy’’ brings the attitude and is steeped in the Americana 2/4 country styled stomp inflected with punk sensibilities.
A Gash With Sharp Teeth And Other Tales is Sabbath, Stooges inspired stoner doom, that relies on a healthy sense of humour and isn’t afraid to reference where it came from. ‘’Sunny Cola” is that 70’s song that wouldn’t be lost in a Tarantino film until it gets really heavy with a big emphasis on the distorted fuzz they have perfected. Mephisto Rising is probably the heaviest track on the album, huge riff and stomping drums with classic reverb drenched solo.
A Gash With Sharp Teeth And Other Tales is not only a musically accomplished album. It is also a lot of fun, to be enjoyed on a hot summers day with a few cold ones and mates.