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Deathdomain Webzine – Random reviews & Random rants

Against the Wall – February 2014

Some of you might have noticed the lack of a “January 2013-edition” of ATW. We simply took the decision not to do one becouse of the simple fact that December was rather disastrous when it came to interesting releases, plus the fact that many of us were occupied with the “Best of 2013”-lists. But here we are again (a couple of days late though thanks to illness) and will be here on the 15th of every month like clockwork. // TK


 Kampfar –”Djevelsmakt”
LABEL: Indie Recordings
GENRE: Pagan Black Metal

(TK): HELVETE!!!!!!! I dub “Mylder” one of the best songs of 2014. 7.5/10

(MJ): Nothing to grab on to. As a whole, “Djevelsmakt” doesn’t give me any great pleasure. 4.5/10

(VS): Truly a great album! Stepping a little further from the intensity that they had in previous releases, “Djevelsmakt” is a middle-paced, highly entertaining record with an awesome variety of synths and great compositions in general.  9.0/10

(JP): I’ve never liked this band very much, but I find my self liking this album. Might be the Bathory flirtations that makes it so good 7.0/10

(BH): Kampfar cannot make a bad album. They cannot even make an average album. This is a band who knows how to produce pure quality every time out, and “Djevelmakt” is absolute ace material. Excellent production, excellent emotion, excellent groove. Yet another fine notch in their belt here. 9.0/10


 Astrophobos –”Remnants of Forgotten Horrors”
LABEL: Triumvirate Records
GENRE: Black Metal

(TK): When I got a copy of the “Arcane Secrets” EP back in 2010 I fell in love. Astrophobos deal with the very form of melodic black metal that to me is the best music in the world. And that is also why it doesn’t feel good to say that “Remnans of Forgotten Horrors” left me sort of disappointed. And the worst point is that I can’t even really point out why? Then again there are moments such as 03:02 – 03:38 in tracks such as “The Malevolent Firnament” that are pure fucking 90’s magic! 7.0/10

(MJ): Fool me once – shame on me. I didn’t think a band named Astrophobos would play this kind of music. Thrashing/raw nekro black metal done awesome. 9.0/10

(VS): Following the melodic black / death metal style of their country, Astrophobos ache for good production and energetic guitar lines. This is a well structured album with listened before but still legit tracks. 7.0/10

(JP): Swedish black metal that follows the model point to point. Not bad, but not very exciting.  6.5/10

(BH): I want to like this more than I actually do, but I can’t because I feel like I’ve heard this whole thing before. 7.0/10


 Omnizide –”Death Metal Holocaust”
LABEL: Carnal Records
GENRE: Black/Death Metal

(TK): Imagine Craft going old school death metal and you have Omnizide. The old school death metal trend is still very apparent and honestly “Death Metal Holocaust” does well despite all competition, this much thanks to the fantastic vocals of Nox. 7.0/10

(MJ): I prefer the sound of Astrophobos over Omnizide, if there ever was a competition. 6.0/10

(VS): Punchy, but still not that special after all. I think there are more black than death metal elements here. 6.0/10

(JP): Raw old school death, I should love this, but I feel bored halfway through the album.  6.5/10

(BH): Swedish blackened death metal with some fine black metal pedigree in the lineup. Delivers plenty of groove and attitude. Anything involving Nox from Craft is something I’m into. I love the bass sound too. 8.5/10


 Persuader–”The Fiction Maze”
LABEL: Inner Wound Recordings
GENRE: Power Metal

(TK): Persuader have grown since “When Eden Burns” (2006) into a more mature and less “happy joy joy”-orchestra. It’s still highly melodic with lots and lots of sing-a-long-friendly, but this time with a more darker  and thrashy edge to it. 7.5/10

(MJ): Meh+. I probably would have loved this album seven years ago though. 6.5/10

(VS): Not my cup of tea. 4.0/10

(JP): This is the best power metal band in Sweden. 8.0/10

(BH): There’s power metal, and then there’s Swedish power metal by Persuader. No cheese and all balls here. Persuader deliver an onslaught of heavy groove with excellent Hansi-riffic vocals. I don’t dig much power metal these days, but this is really some good stuff. 8.0/10


 Legion of the Damned – “Ravenous Plague”
LABEL: Napalm Records
GENRE: Death/Thrash Metal

(TK): I’ve tried and tried for at least four albums now, plus a live-show, but I just can’t find that which so many others do with this band. I have to go with JP on this one – Generic death thrash. 6.0/10

(MJ): The Legion do one thing, and they do it good. “Black Melon” ftw!  6.0/10

(VS): LotD is one of the bands that holds a compositional pattern and replays it with every album, so “Ravenous Plague” is just another release of about the same material. If you liked them before, it ain’t gonna change now. I would appreciate more difference between their records and between the songs on this one. 5.0/10

(JP): Generic death thrash, that doesn’t capture me. 6.0/10

(BH): Surprise of the month for me here. Yet another fine Dutch death/thrash band that sounds like a much more brutal Thanatos. 8.0/10

 Grand Magus –”Triumph and Power”
LABEL: Nuclear Blast
GENRE: Heavy/Doom Metal

(TK): I’m sorry. But for the past five years I’ve tried understanding what people around me see in Grand Magus. To me this is still just  a very VERY tired version of early Manowar. 4.0/10

(MJ): Nope. Nothing special. 4.0/10

(VS): “There’s a strength in my breed”… The Magus is does it again. 8.5/10

(JP): This makes me want to fist the sky and drown myself in beer.  8.0/10

(BH): Seriously, I don’t know doom. At all. I’m sure some doom metal aficionado out there will argue with me until I kill myself about this, but I feel like Grand Magus has been descending into lameness every since “Wolf’s Return” back in 2005. Nothing about this album even remotely convinces me to play it again. 5.0/10

Iced Earth - Plagues of Babylon

 Iced Earth –”Plagues of Babylon”
LABEL: Century Media Records
GENRE: Power/Thrash Metal

(TK): I love Jon Schaffers shredding. His thrash-riffing technique is fantastic! Still I haven’t really gotten excited for an Iced Earth album since “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (1998)5.5/10

(MJ): The new IE singer (formerly of IE) really do sound like Matt Barlow. “Plagues of Babylon” lacks in the rifftastic elements that I loved about the band, but the album has grown on me. 7.0/10

(VS): Sounds like most of the stuff this band has been releasing lately. Plenty of melodic vocals and riffs, good solos, great production and that’s about it. 6.5/10

(JP)Is it just me, or does this album sound like a demo?! The sound is flat and week, the vocals sounds half assed and the overall feel is very meh. Jon Schaffer is to me one of the best guitarists in the world. But this is just…meh. 4.0/10

(BH): I’ve been out of the Iced Earth loop for about 10 years now, but this actually sounds like the best thing they’ve done in a while. Maybe one of their more finely polished recent turds. Congratulations. 6.0/10


 Skull Fist –”Chasing the Dream”
LABEL: NoiseArt Records
GENRE: Heavy/Speed Metal

(TK): Party metal probably best enjoyed live with alcohol! 5.0/10

(MJ): Not bad at all, but I will never listen to it again. 7.0/10

(VS): A legit album of eighties outlaw metal, with catchy riffs, uplifting melodies and high screams. 7.0/10

(JP): Not my cup of tea. Too much Running wild and way too little Judas Priest5.0/10

(BH): There is so much to hate here. The moniker is retarded. They sound like they’re 30 years late to an androgynous party somewhere in Los Angeles. The vocalist kills every song because he has no balls–great range, but absolutely zero power. His Canadian accent occasionally make the lyrics rhyme in weird ways. But all that being said, there’s some enjoyable catchy riffs here and there. 4.0/10


Chrome Division –”Infernal Rock Eternal”
LABEL: Nuclear Blast
GENRE: Heavy Metal/Rock’n’Roll

(TK): What is this? Bon Jovi? No! This is the Norwegian equivalent to Finnish Eurovisionrocking monsters Lordi. Shagrath or no Shagrath, Norway gets 3 points. 3.0/10

(MJ): Can I get a “Hell Yeah!?” – “Hell No!” But, please…! – “Hell Maybe!” 5.0/10

(VS): I can only enjoy this when drunk in a bar. Such rock n roll is not to be judged, but still I would not choose it even if I was in the mood for such music. Other bands have been doing it better for more than 30 years now. 4.0/10

(JP): I don’t mind this type of back seat second class rock. And while the strong Norwegian accent that annoyed me on their previous records are almost gone, I still like the old stuff better. This needs more balls, more Ac/Dc and Motörhead5.0/10

(BH): I bought “Doomsday Rock N Roll” way back when it came out. I loved that album for like a month. It’s still fantastic. And you know what else, after hearing this one, I realized that’s probably the only Chrome Division I’ll ever need.  5.5/10


 Murmur – “Murmur”
LABEL: Season of Mist
GENRE: Experimental/Black Metal

(TK): I like the drumming, but despise the rest. Hipsters will go nuts over this album though! 1.5/10

(MJ): I never want to hear this album again. 2.0/10

(VS): I clearly don’t get this non-sense. 1.5/10

(JP): When the songs aren’t derailing to bad, this album is really good. Unfortunately it derails a lot.  6.0/10

(BH): From the moment I first heard this band and before I even looked them up, I thought to myself, “This sounds like it’s going to be yet another American band who claims to be ‘black metal’ but is going to butcher everything I love about black metal.” And I was right. Absolute garbage. 1.5/10

Deathdomain ATW February 2014 on Spotify

Categorised as: Against The Wall | BH | JP | MJ | TK | VS

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