It's my straight forward opinions with no sensory anomaly stuff today because I'm just not in the mood to describe it.
Let us jump right in. Shall we?
Track 1) "Full of Terrors"
There it is. That guitar distortion that starts up distant...threatening....you know the impact is coming....you just don't know when, so you brace yourself. Then it hits you.....
Fabian "Fab“ Regmann has precision behind the kit reminiscent of Gene Hoglan the "human drum machine". The opening guitars hit you like a concussion grenade and your fate is sealed by vocalist Karsten “Jagger” Jäger's gutteral attack.
Yes, I can already tell this is going to be a wild ride. This album will scare the shit out of the pop music lovers.
Track 2) "The Unsuspecting One" There is a tangible sense of unease with the opening guitars. Then comes the near whispered vocals that crawl up your spine and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Then Jagger's signature growl knocks you on your ass like a violent head wind. I enjoyed this one so much because it has that characteristic brutality but maintains a sense of melody that is quite pleasing to the ear.
Track 3) "The Symbol of Death" This one washes over you like a tsunami and the ensuing flood. The impact sweeps you up throws you around in the water, seemingly forever moving, slow and steady, leaving destruction in it's wake, feet never touching ground until the ending riffs.
Track 4) "Embrace the Blaze" Speeding ticket territory. I do not recommend playing this while driving. If you insist, don't say I didn't warn you. Badass track. Rad solo, too.
Track 5) “To Defy Control” Isn't this what we all aspire to do? Well, those of us who aren't sheep. This track is sheer fist pumping head banging magnificence. The instrumentals in the middle re-ignite that sense of unease from track 2. This is where I realized how tight the guitar work is on this album. Top to bottom, badass guitar work.
Track 6) “Rest in Peace” I will leave you with one thought on this song. If it doesn't start a huge, brutal and beautiful mosh pit, then the wrong crowd showed up. This song's rightful place is in front of a huge audience.
Track 7) “Evil Ghost” I can't help but feel like there are shades of Danzig in this. I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong......consistent death metal sensibility with a little pinch of bluesy goodness?
Track 8) “One by One” Some of the best guitar work on the album lies here. It starts out nice and melodic, then proceeds to mercilessly throw you around like a shelf full of books in an earthquake. Just trust me on this one.....
Track 9) “Nothing to Heal” I'm in happy headbanger heaven here. There's a near perfect match between what goes on behind the kit and what the guitarists are bombarding us with, as oppposed to the standard “drummer does thing x to keep the beat constant and guitars stay somewhere around a counter point type rhythm....I say near perfect, because that sense of brutality pervasive through the entire album is omnipresent here. If it were too perfect, it wouldn't be as wild of a ride. Music like this needs a little dirt here and there.
Track 10) “The Circle” Love the riff. Love love love the riff. This is the kind of stuff that makes my skinny ass drop what I'm doing and hit the air guitar. All absurd images aside, this is the kind of song that hits you with a wall of sound and surrounds you in the best way.
Track 11) “Into Glory Ride” There's a definite doom-ish flavor in play here that shows up in places. There's also more of Fab reminding me how quickly I've become a fan of his drumming skills. Over all, it has a driving beat that could very easily throw me back into speeding ticket territory. I think you'll agree when you hear it.
Track 12) “Shattered” I suspect there will be a crop of aspiring guitarists that try to play this song. Some successful, some not. There's a beautiful transition at around the 5 minute mark to a guitars only melody that is your one respite from the aural onslaught that is this entire album. It gets consumed by a Jagger vocal line, then comes back for track 13.
Track 13) “Anthem for the Doomed” This is what I imagine flying over the aftermath of a war would sound like....validation in a strange sense of how tight this album has proven itself to be.
Where the hell have you been all my life?