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SELECTED & DISSECTED

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

10 PURE GENIUS

8-9 POT OF GOLD

6-7 PASSES THE TIME

4-5 PASS

2-3 PISS POOR

1 PILE OF SHITE

BEHIND THE MASK

LASTER

‘Ons Vrije Fatum’

DUNKELHEIT

Do not be fooled by this band. They will gleefully subvert people’s expectations by describing their own sound as “obscure dance music” when it is actually some of the most beautiful, unconventional black metal you will ever hear this side of the Ulver back catalogue. Just imagine how many black metal elitists will miss out on this release because they couldn’t make it past the first hurdle – namely, Laster’s penchant for throwing people off. But perhaps to strike such divisiveness is exactly what they intended with ‘Ons Vrije Fatum’ – if they’re going to stretch the limits of the black metal genre, they’re not going to wish to take any nay-saying traditionalists along with them for the ride.

Immediately hitting with a dense wall of sound, this album unfolds in many surprising directions, peeling back to reveal the layers of dark wave and post rock influences that lurk beneath their harrowing noise. For every brutal blastbeat, there just might be a four to the floor dance beat lurking around the corner. After every dissonant, anguished riff, there’s most definitely a heart wrenching harmony awaiting. It’s an unpredictable listen yet it never suffers from sounding disjointed, as the bands signature taut atmosphere binds one song tightly into another with consistently overpowering atmosphere. This is the kind of record that devours every ear in its path with its swampy, all-encompassing approach.

‘Bitterzoet’ encompasses a sound so thick and mournful, listeners will have to wade through it to get to the vast, glassy climax of reverbdrenched guitars – exactly how this Dutch three piece have managed to seamlessly channel both Silencer and Explosions In The Sky in one song is a mystery – whereas ‘Helemaal Naar Huis’, with its humble folkriff beginnings, takes a sparser, slower journey that culminates in a sorrowful saxophone drone.

The emotional spectrum on display is vast, and there’s no cartoony, binary representations of darkness on ‘Ons Vrije Fatum’. From glowing moments that elate in a trance-inducing swirl, to moments that pierce with wails of distress, never has the emotional palette of black metal sounded quite so nuanced and affecting as it does on ‘De Tiid Voor’.

Whilst Laster’s debut album ‘De Verste Verte Is Hier’ grabbed attention for its schizophrenic approach, where disco beats jumped in at often inopportune moments, this second offering demonstrates a smoothness and depth to their deviating sonic craft that was previously unapparent. The vocals in particular, sound far more refined as they catapult from maddening shrieks to gloomy moans.

Subtle, reflective and ultimately inspired, ‘Ons Vrije Fatum’ is the sound of a black metal band surpassing all expectations and growing into a magnificent, untameable beast. A beast who isn’t afraid to break the rules. A beast who also isn’t afraid to dance.

CODE ORANGE

‘Forever’

ROADRUNNER

Pittsburgh’s premiere hardcore outfit Code Orange could have played it safe. They could have chosen to tread the same path as 2014’s much acclaimed, and absolutely ripping, ‘I Am King’. Hell, they could have produced an albums worth of songs exactly like the title track from their latest work and we would have been satiated by the breathless, hammer-blow force of their crushing riffs. Like any band worth their salt, however, the four piece have taken note of such expectations, then burned the fucking notebook.

If their last album was a singular, focussed manifesto, ‘Forever’ is the manic, fractured scrawl of a serial killer. ‘Real’ alternates between frenzied, blistering riffs and a snaking electro-drum section, whilst ‘The Mud’ and ‘Hurt Goes On’ bare their industrial and ‘80s synth rock influences with skittering synths and swelling, looping samples. ‘Bleeding In The Blur’ and ‘Ugly’ surprise the most by edging into ‘standard’ song construction, with clean vocal lines, catchy melodic hooks and (gasp) even guitar solos. Perhaps a sign of the band blending some of the sensibilities of their indie-rock side project Adventures into their ‘day job’?

Fear not; the crushing, jarring intensity hasn’t gone anywhere, amplified by Kurt Ballou’s production. ‘No One Is Untouchable’ thunders with massive bass and unstoppable groove, and ‘The New Reality’ chugs with wide-eyed rabidity and stuttering kicks. Jami Morgan’s vocals are more sneeringly caustic than ever, Eric Balderose dredges ever more guttural depths, and Reba Meyers ventures into more harmonious cleans. A confrontational, wilfully challenging and obsessively interesting release.

[8.5] JAY HAMPSHIRE

HEARTS STILL BEATING

CODE ORANGE ON THE MAKING OF ‘FOREVER’

“This is our most creative, dynamic, painful, and unapologetic piece of music to date. Everything this band has was put into the process of creating this record. Pre-order now at CodeOrangeToth.com if you are able and haven’t yet. We very much appreciate the growing and unwavering support from so many of you. We won’t let you down.”

AENAON

‘Hypnosophy’

CODE666

Black metal comes in all sorts of weird and wonderful forms these days, but although the jazzy, proggy, ultra-unorthodox style of Greece’s Aenaon is definitely on the weirder end of the scale, ultimately their third album, ‘Hypnosophy’, isn’t quite as wonderful as 2014’s ‘Extance’ was. Although the band’s wide-ranging, sax-drenched sound occasionally spreads itself a little too thin this time around, that doesn’t mean it’s a dud by any means, as songs like the extravagant ‘Fire Walk With Me’, the esoteric ‘Void’, or artsy, ambiguous closer ‘Phronesis – Psychomagic’, can attest. Ultimately fans of Norse deviants Dødheimsgard or Japanese sorcerers Sigh should be well within their (dis)comfort zone listening to this one.

[6] ANDY WALMSLEY

ANCESTRY

‘Transitions’

DYNAMO

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About Terrorizer Magazine

The first time I saw Kreator was at a venue in Birmingham called Goldwyns. It was around the time they had just released ‘Coma Of Souls’. Death were also on the bill mysteriously without Chuck, but that was another story. It was 1990 and even back then, Kreator were one of the best thrash bands out there, having already honed their craft on some of the most extreme (and now classic) releases such as ‘Extreme Aggression’. Writing this editorial at the arse end of 2016, Kreator will welcome in 2017 with another stonkingly awesome thrash metal record that once again shows you can’t keep an old dog down. Mille and crew sound as vital now as they ever did in their youth and it’s a pleasure and an honour to have them grace our cover. I hope you enjoy reading about their new album and what keeps the German tank pummelling forward. Elsewhere this issue feels like a great mix of the old and new guard of extreme music gracing these hallowed pages – and what brings them all together is the quality of the music everyone is creating. Some seriously good records are coming out right now and a New Year is only just beginning! Looking ahead, it’s safe to say 2017 will continue to be a strong year for music and we look forward to traversing through the best of it with you. Until next time! Adios Darren Sadler
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