Union Of Flesh And Machine - Daniel 'Død' Olaisen series

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(Candlelight Records, 2016)

Karakter: 3.5/6

BloodRedThrone_UnionOfFleshAndMachine.jpgThe 2011 "Brutalitarian Regime" was a step down from the excellence of "Souls Of Damnation" but the 2013 eponymous was an attempt to recover, with better songwriting and melody. It came, again, with some significant changes. The vocalist Osvald "Vald" Egeland left and was replaced by more guttural Ingve "Bold" Christiansen, while bassist Ole "Bend" Madsen replaced Erlend Caspersen, with drummer Anders Haave exchanged for Emil Wiksten. The eponymous was a step in the right direction which is exactly why the 2016 "Union Of Flesh And Machine" is such a mysterious disappointment.

For the recording of the 8th album yet two more changes were implemented, one small and one huge. Drummer Emil Wiksten was replaced by Freddy Bolsø and Blood Red Throne moved to Candlelight Records. This is Opeth's old label, that's all you need to know, so the album needed to be mindblowing. In my view, it is far from it, and judging by mediocre tracks such as "Patriotic Hatred" (which neverheless gave me pleasant Through The Eyes Of The Dead "Malice" flashbacks), "Homicidal Ecstasy" and the groove-laden yet brutally uncatchy "Legacy Of Greed" it seems like the creators of "Souls Of Damnation" are not even trying on this one. Spurious melody and an occasional hook get buried in senseless seemingly disorderly brutality with severely inconsistent production - now bassy and muddy, now clear and clean like Slipknot's "Volume 3: Subliminal Verses". The overall impression is, there's hardly any rhyme or reason on this record, tracks not naturally following each other at all but rather as if part of some sort of compilation rather than planned work of continuity.

But there's potential. "Martyrized" is an unusually technical yet strangely memorable excercise in Hate Eternal, "Fury And Flames", which easily stands out, while the closer "Primal Recoil" is typical old school death but adorned with tasty melodic Immolation/"Failures For Gods" riffs. The rest of the songs are average old school death metal which flirts with groove, hardcore and industrial-bordering-on-nu-metal riffing the kind Fear Factory showcased in the late 90s/early 2000's.

The so far most recent, 8th album from Blood Red Throne is a significant departure from the quality of "Souls Of Damnation" or "Come Death". Ingve's indecipherable low gutturals drag the material to extreme but boring places and the band shows very little in the way of creativity in the genre which desperately needs innovation and fresh ideas. It's good, though, that they try incorporating different genre elements and therein lies the hope for the upcoming, as yet unnamed album.

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