Deströyer 666 – Wildfire ALBUM REVIEW

I’ve played this through many, many times, and no matter how many times I go through it, I can’t get into it. It was really a journey for me to find out exactly what was the matter. And it turns out it’s something I’m sure most of you wouldn’t have though it was: it’s not extreme enough. I feel like I expected this to be a huge maelstrom of black thrashing, like a wild wolf savagely devouring its prey. Instead I get clean fucking vocals and parts that border on melodic black metal? What is this?

The production is so completely clean and professional that I can’t get into the aesthetic they’re trying to pull off. It’d be like if some 6’2″ blond haired, blue eyed handsome guy in a suit went up and started talking to me about how he just did a bunch of sacrificial murders in the name of satan and then ate the bodies. I mean I would probably believe him because let’s face it, if a guy actually walked up to you out of nowhere and started talking about the murders he committed, he’s probably delusional enough to be telling the truth, but the aesthetic wouldn’t be there (which is by far the most important aspect of a murder confession).

Aside from that, nothing on Wildfire at all stands out to me. Every track just sort of came and passed, wandering around the Tasmanian wasteland like I’m sure Deströyer 666 does when looking for creative sparks. The only tracks on the album that made any impact on me at all was Wildfire, Hounds at Ya Back, and Tamam Shud, all for very different reasons. Wildfire was the only track on the album that I liked, though I feel it’s only because the chorus of “WILDFIRE! WILDFIRE!” actually sounded pretty damn badass. The guitar tone was very early 80s black metal like, which coupled with the abrasive shouting of the title gave a really awesome look into what the band is trying to accomplish in this record: retro black thrash with a modern twist. I feel like the entire rest of the album feels like there’s much more modern twist than retro black thrash, which makes the whole message seem a bit disingenuous. Hounds at Ya Back is noticed for the entirely opposite reason, in that the chorus there sounds almost more like a harsh Sabaton than anything else, which just totally takes me out of the track, which had previously had a completely black metal vocal delivery.

That’s actually a major reason why I have such trouble appreciating this album. I feel like the black and the thrash never fully coexist for an entire track. It’s more like they’re switching back and forth, sometimes multiple times in one go. It never feels cohesive, almost like they’re competing for power rather than working together. It’s disjointing and confusing, but not as confusing as the entirety of the last track that left an impression.

Tamam Shud just shouldn’t be on here, period. It’s almost melodic black metal with clean vocals, on an album of which neither of those things should be present. I’ve talked about how I like it when albums have a final longer track that ties everything together, putting the band’s best effort forward. This is not an album that should have that. If anything, I would’ve been perfectly ok with Hounds at Ya Back being that track, despite the fact that I didn’t think it was great. Here we have this mid pace “epic” (I guess?) to finish an album that’s supposed to be fast and furious, in and out, coming and going faster than a virgin with a porn star. It just doesn’t fit anything else on here, which is ironically fitting considering the entire album feels like it just shouldn’t be here. Wildfire just doesn’t feel like the album it should be at all.

So yeah, I panned this. You can say I have shit taste for liking After the Burial and not thinking this is that great, that’s fine. That’s why opinions are great, because they vary from person to person, and nobody’s are exactly the same. Although it would’ve been at least kind of nice is Deströyer 666 had the same opinion as to what their music should sound like that I did.


Satan – Atom by Atom ALBUM REVIEW

Often regarded as a cult favorite, Satan is a relatively obscure heavy metal band that arose out of the NWOBHM period that never quite caught up steam with the general populace at the time (as well as being the answer to the question “is there a metal band that’s literally just named Satan”). While their most famous album Court in the Act has recently gotten more fame as the news of it’s greatness spread throughout the internet, they have still remained relatively unknown compared to many other Heavy Metal giants of the time. It doesn’t help that they don’t exactly have a consistent release schedule, the gap between their 3rd and fourth album being 15 years. However what they lack in consistent timing, they make up for in consistent quality. Satan has produced great album after great album, and Atom by Atom by just be the best of them all.

I’m going to start this off by making one of the strangest comparisons I think you make make between metal albums. Atom by Atom reminds me a lot of the Animals as Leaders debut. I know, that sounds insane, but bear with mere here. One of the things that makes the Animals as Leaders debut one of my favorite albums of all time is it’s evolution and progression of a theme throughout a track. It’ll take one idea and through logic and natural progression, evolve the track into a final product. Sometimes you end up right back where you started, other times you end up in an entirely different place. Most tracks on Atom employ the former, however you have examples of the latter, such as on the track In Contempt, which ends in an entirely different key as it began. But again, most of the songs on this album go full circle. They take a theme, and then explore that theme, while occasionally repeating it at appropriate times. To use In Contempt as an example again, there is a staccato arpeggio to begin the track, working as a bit of a warm-up for the main meat of the piece. The track goes on and right before the conclusion you hear that same apreggio, bringing the track to a fitting conclusion full circle, until as I mentioned before, it just says fuck you and ends in an entirely different realm (not a bad thing I’ll say). However what’s magic about all of this is that this repetition of a theme doesn’t feel tacked on or forced. It doesn’t sound like they drew 60% of a circle, and then drew a diagonal line to enclose it and call it complete. It feels like it just naturally evolves out of what came previously. As if that same theme just happened to be appropriate for that moment, just as it was at the beginning of the song. Of course, in comparing these two albums, it’s pretty obvious that Satan does this with about 1/4th of the notes as Animals as Leaders, but the general principal is still there. Every track has a beginning, and every track has a conclusion, with everything in between connecting the two.

Speaking of circles and conclusions, my absolute favorite track on the album has to be the last track, The Fall of Persephone. It feels funnily enough, like it’s the logical conclusion to the album. While unlike the individual tracks being a circle, as the album as a whole feels more like a collection of songs rather than on coherent slow of them, The Fall ties in all of the tricks the individual tracks use into one epic track. While this isn’t your stereotypical 10 minute behemoth to end the album, the 6:50 run-time is far and away the longest track on the album. From again reusing multiple themes, using solos that both act as a break and a transition to the next segment, and utilizing slight tempo changes to give it that progressive edge that’s a bit reminiscent of later Iron Maiden. The track feels like the final confrontation of a hero’s journey, a battle in which you must use all that you had learned in order to face the demo that awaits. This is all metaphorical of course. The Fall is anything but a final boss, rather it’s about the downfall of the queen of the underworld. However regardless of lyrical content, it acts as a fitting conclusion to a record full of that’s full of them.

Satan has much matured it’s sound since the days of old, and in my eyes that’s for the better. This feels like a record made by those who have grown a lot since their absence and have now created a sound that takes the good elements of their old work, while still improving on what they have made before. Atom by Atom is classic, yet with a modern twist, and safe, yet with a bit of a bite. The soaring scream at the very moment the album begins ushers in a soon to be 2015 classic, transcending, in my opinion, Court in the Act on it’s way to being the heavy metal album of the year.


Enforcer – From Beyond ALBUM REVIEW

You know what’s good? Fun. Fun is good. We need more fun in this world. This album is fun. This is the kinda metal that you know, doesn’t make a profound artistic statement, it doesn’t wow you with any kind of darkness or evil anything like a lot of metal does. This album is, as I would call it in laymen’s terms, “good shit”. It’s fun shit. It doesn’t take itself to seriously and gives you exactly what you want in what it’s supposed to give, which is lots of headbanging, nice riffs, and vocals that sound just a tad bit silly, but have that “totally awesome” nostalgic vibe to them. It has plenty of highlights, though none of the tracks are really bad at all. From Beyond, Below The Slumber, and Farewell are the mostly exceptional tracks, but again, nothing on this album is bad. The only reason this doesn’t have a higher rating is that it’s in a genre that really has a hard time getting above a certain level. You can only rate music that’s just fun so high. Not that there isn’t a place for it, but it’s really hard to see this album, compare it to say, the new Enslaved, and say that they’re on the same level. While yes, they’re two entirely different things, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that fun only goes so far before true artistic merit eventually triumphs. Still, I don’t think an 8/10 a knock on this album as more as it is a acknowledgement of it’s obvious limitations. But still, like I said in the beginning, fun is good. This album is good. We need more like this album, even if more serious albums are always going to get the leg up. Kinda like how comedies never get oscars, but dammit if there isn’t an important place for them in movie culture.


Distillator – Revolutionary Cells ALBUM REVIEW

I feel sorry for the lead singer of this band. Apparently he never became a man, and his voice still cracks to this very day, often very dramatically. Either that or they got a very convincing 12 year old to sing on this album. The good news is that when there isn’t any vocals, this album is actually not only tolerable, but quite good. Unfortunately, every time I hear an emphatic high note, my ears hurt and I lose my will to listen to this album. It doesn’t help that there aren’t really any amazing riffs in this record to look for. Eventually I had to stop, as I was getting a headache from listening to SHRILLS, every single time he SINGS. IT is really amazing that I WITHSTOOD this punishment for this LONG (basically, this is what the album is like if you didn’t catch on). Even vocals aside, this isn’t amazing thrash, I’d much rather listen to Hidden Evolution than this.