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Deathdomain Webzine – Random reviews & Random rants

Against the Wall – July 2014


 Septicflesh –”Titan”
LABEL: Season of Mist
GENRE: Atmospheric/Symphonic Death Metal

(TK): When Septicflesh announced that they were to return I was rejoiced. And rightfully so considering what they produced with “Communion” and “The Great Mass”, even if the latter had lost something found in its predecessor. “Titan” continues in the vain of the aforementioned album…sadly. Still better than the average though!  6.5/10

(MJ): The initial disappointment was great (that’s what she said). But it’s a grower (that’s what she said). I still like the two previous ones better though (that’s what she said). 8.0/10

(BH): I loved “Communion” however long ago it’s been now. I mean, I LOVED it. I still listen to it quite a bit. I really want to like this one just like I wanted to like the last one, but it just doesn’t click. The neat little orchestral parts feel almost out of place instead of seamlessly supplementing the onslaught. This album isn’t awful by any means, but it’s nowhere near good. These guys are better than this. I hope. 6.0/10

(JP): With 2008’s “Communion” Septicflesh found their own sound, and even if they haven’t hit the perfection of that album, every attempt is pretty damn close. “Titan” is a massive album that leaves no one untouched, hate it or love it. 8.0/10

(BS): Massive enough to justify its title? Barely, but Titans are fucking huge, so you won’t be disappointed. Here’s a bit of advice: even though orchestral elements are a big part of your game, you don’t have to over-exploit the ol’ brass and strings. Choose your battles wiser. 7.0/10

(CÄ): Being a fan of the sound of Carach Angren, Ovid’s Withering and the like, I really dig this schizophrenic mix of horror movie soundtracks, metal and twisted circus music. Greek weirdness extraordinaire! 8.0/10

 Sectu –”Nefarious”
LABEL: ViciSolum Productions
GENRE: Death Metal

(TK): I’m somewhat on the same track here as BH. It’s great in so many aspects but to me the vocals are a bit “dry” and should have some more “punch” (sorry Stoach!). 7.0/10

(MJ): A friend recommended Sectu to me, what seems like at least five years ago. But their first album came out in 2011 so, yeah, then. I never listened to them, even though I’ve seen their name in the various To Do-services I’ve used since then. I wouldn’t have guessed that they would be playing this style of death metal. Technical? Sure. Harmonic? Somewhat. Brutal? Kind of. Atmospheric? At times. Awesome? No. 5.0/10

(BH): Comin’ straight outta Stockholm. I had a feeling this was going to be some quality death metal, and it does not disappoint. It’s loaded with darkness and groove just like I like it. The only downside, I guess, would be the vocals. They’re not bad or anything, but I wish they weren’t so subdued in the mix and just a little more in-you-face. Quality Swedish death right here. 8.5/10

(JP)Sectu has done it again! They have recorded an album that screams of death metal mastery. Even if this album is a bit more on the technical side than previous albums, they never lose their skill to harness the pure nature of a great death metal song.  8.5/10

(BS): I am completely taken by ass. I horn-salute and windmill in your general direction. 8.0/10

(): Just like a cold lager on a warm and sunny day, it does the job, but it doesn’t really stand out or give you anything new. 5.0/10

Arch Enemy –”War Eternal”
LABEL: Century Media
GENRE: Melodic Death Metal

(TK): Angela, who? Nah, joke aside. Angela did a lot of good for AE, but new vocalissa Alissa White-Gluz also fits like a glove to what for me is the best AE album since “Anthems of Rebellion” (2003) 7.5/10

(MJ): Well, I like this album. I like it a lot. Read full review here. 9.5/10

(BH): Regardless of exactly who is doing what in this band, they’ll always be able to lay down a groove or  two over the course of an entire album. I had almost zero expectations for this album in the first place, but I guess I was pleasantly surprised with what I got. It’s kind of like watching a lousy movie just because there’s nothing else on just to pass the time but actually enjoying it a little. Or something. 5.0/10

(JP): I’m not a big fan of Arch Enemy post “Burning Bridges”. And it has nothing to do with the change of vocalists, music is not gender based. A good song is a good song regardless of who performs on it. And unfortunately for Arch Enemy so is a bad song. 5.5/10

(BS): Everyone’s raving about the vocalist switch, I’m more concerned about the fact that the more talented Amott brother isn’t onboard anymore. Predictably, the solos are a damn deal duller, luckily the overall songwriting is the most vital in a decade. And yeah, bitch can sing. 6.5/10

(CÄ): Guitar melody-drenched power metal with growls. How I miss the raw and fierce riffing and edge that once characterized the sound of this band. I used to listen to ‘Black Earth’ a lot back in the day. ‘War Eternal’ on the other hand, I can do without! 6.0/10

 Vintersorg –”Naturbål”
LABEL: Napalm Records
GENRE: Viking/Folk Metal, Progressive Metal

(TK): I used to love this up until “Cosmic Genesis” (2000) and even though the formula on “Naturbål” is pretty much exactly the same as back then, well…I just can’t find the magic anymore. As for enjoyable progressive folk metal, this is still the best out there to find. 6.5/10

(MJ): On the one hand: meh. On the other hand: Nice! I don’t have any more hands, but I could use my feet to say that at least the songs contain a lot of sounds. I don’t know if it’s really a good album, but I like it anyway. Swedish has rarely sounded so pretty. 8.0/10

(BH): Vintersorg, the guy or the band or his Borknagar or whatever, is pretty hit-or-miss with me, and most of the time it’s been a miss. I do, however, enjoy this rendition of his mixing some pretty epic attempts at prog with some cold, blasting black metal. It’s no “Cosmic Genesis” or anything, but Vintersorg fans will probably enjoy this one a lot more than “Orkan” for sure. 7.0/10

(JP): After “Cosmic Genesis” Vintersorg lost me, and I had a hard time finding anything good on the albums that followed. Until now! This is how they are meant to sound 7.0/10

(BS): If your stiffy is itchin’ for a bitchin’ schlager pop album with folk, black and prog influences, you might wanna punch yourself. Then put on this record. 6.5/10

(CÄ): It’s always nice with vocals in Swedish I think, as it gives the approach a certain flair. However, Vintersorg‘s music feels somewhat dated, in a negative way, I must say. It’s almost like they’re desperately trying to win back the fans who abandoned them when they went progressive musically and started singing in English, by going back to their roots. They should have listened to Linda Poindexter: “Never let what other people expect from you, dictate what you expect from yourself.” 5.0/10

 Mayhem –”Esoteric Warfare”
LABEL: Season of Mist
GENRE: Black Metal

(TK): I’ve really not been impressed with anything from Mayhem since the glory days of “The Mysteriis….”. But I do like the sound of “Esoteric Warfare” with it’s industrial Thorn:ish vibe. Teloch is one brilliant riffmaker indeed, but not much is really left of the Mayhem that I used to know. But, still a solid black metal album! 8.0/10

(MJ): Perfect album title! 3.0/10

(BH): Not that the two eras are even remotely comparable at this point, but this is easily the best Mayhem record since “De Mysteriis” for sure. There’s a very electronic, industrial and almost progressive edge to this one that adds to the sense of chaos and, well, mayhem that the band is working to develop here. It’s not as “cold” as some of their past work, but it’s fill with hate and misanthropy, and I really enjoy it. 8.0/10

(JP): I’m finding it hard to like anything Mayhem has released after “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. And this album does not make me change my mind. This sounds more like a boring copy of Attila’s previous efforts in Aborym5.0/10

(BS): What to make of this schizophrenic mess…I wonder what the reaction would be if McCartney and Ringo hired a Lennon-wannabe to write new songs that resembled their former output, and released the garbage as a new Beatles album? Sacrilege? Blasphemy? Cockpuke? Exactly. 3.0/10

(CÄ): The result of an ambivalent band, set out in pursuit of a fresh new sound? 3.0/10

Deathdomain ATW July 2014 on Spotify

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

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