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Tuesday 8 January 2013

Reviews: Katatonia, Cannibal Corpse, The Algorithm

Katatonia: Dead End Kings (Peaceville)

Swedish doomsters Katatonia come back with the follow up to their world beating 2009 Night Is New Day which brought Katatonia out of their Doom metal roots into the more progressive metal genre while still having the depressive doom riffage with added electronics and synths. This experimentation is still present on this album with the album opener The Parting which has all the hallmarks of fellow Swedes Opeth but Jonas Henke's vocals have almost an element of Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil. The tracks are depressive, melancholic but mostly they are hauntingly beautiful and extremely well written balancing the metallic heaviness in tracks like Buildings, which has Gojira-like fret slides, with great progressive melodies on songs like Ambitions. The fantastic The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here is a tender duet with The Gatherings Silije Wergeland and over the following eleven tracks the album does not dip in quality at all. Henke's vocals are fantastic as usual and are really the main part of Katatonia's sound. However the other members of the band are also excellent with other founder member Anders Nystrom providing both the heavy riffs and solos (Lethean) as well as contributing the restrained clean playing on tracks like Leech. The unsung hero however is keyboardist Frank Default who provides some brilliant electronics and really adds an extra layer to the band’s sound. Katatonia have released another potential classic and while they will never be a summer party band, on a cold winter night this is the perfect companion. 9/10

Cannibal Corpse: Torture (Metal Blade)

The purveyors of ultimate gore-metal once again are ready to rip off your head and eat the entrails. It seems as if Cannibal Corpse have looked back on their career and taken the best parts of it for this their twelfth album, the horror themed tracks are back with such lovely and fluffy titles like As Deep As The Knife Will Go, Followed Home Then Killed and Encased In Concrete. The uncensored gore album covers are back two with lots of chains and blood shown in every horrible detail. On the music end it's Cannibal Corpses' signature take no prisoners high ferocity riffage with Pat O'Brien and Rob Barret bringing the six string pain with Paul Mazurkiewicz and Alex Webster providing the skull crushing rhythm section, all of this is topped by the unmistakeable guttural roar of George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher. This yet another chapter in the history of Cannibal Corpses audio homicide but it seems like they have found their feet (and their knives) with this new album, some will call this type of music torture but if you take it for what it is Torture is very fun indeed. 7/10

The Algorithm: The Polymorphic Code (Basick Records)

The Algorithm is Remi Gallego an electronic musician from Toulouse France who specialises in genre melding. The Polymorphic Code is an album that blends, Jean-Michel Jarre electronics with ambient, prog and mathcore, think a modern Muse, fronted by Deadmau5 playing songs by Mesuggah sans guitars and you won't be far off. The album blasts off with the explosive, progressive Handshake (complete with mid-song laser effects!) and it moves on from there into some of the most uncharted Djent style music I've ever heard. Second track Bouncing Dot kicks off with a Rammstein style intro before the beat breaks into euro trance crescendo. I will admit that I had my doubts when I heard the words 'electronic Djent' but Gallego has created something that is intensely musical with his electronics creating some very well created music and by the time the final track Panic kicks in with its massive bass drop you have sat through a real musical journey. However what he shows if anything is how much of the Djent genre is similar and that with the right electronic equipment you can programme all of the blast beats, and palm muted guitars you would ever need, despite this Remi Gallego has managed to make this album both interesting and varied in its delivery. 7/10


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