Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 5/16/2006
posted on 5/2006 By:
Hard to fault a band for playing straight forward death metal, especially with all the pretentious bullshit dripping from the walls of metal these days. And harder still to find fault with a band that mixes riffing and chord structure as tastefully as Sinister. And, in fact, I won’t find much fault with Afterburner. It’s a good record - sometimes a great one. So why the reticent opening? Because, for all their ability as songwriters and musicians, the recording has a nasty tendency to get messy.
Lets discuss why this album ought to work perfectly first. It’s got next to no filler, and no cutesy over-thought garbage masquerading as creativity. It is a pure death metal record, with both grooving riffs and speedy blasts. The vocals are from the back of the throat and natural sounding roars. This is death metal for purists, with just enough modern sensibility to keep it from being another throwback homage. You can place it maybe one shelf below Benighted in this respect. Not quite the inventive insanity of the elite modern death bands, but getting everything right in performance and songwriting. You will windmill, even if you are bald.
And the band fuck it up. All the musicianship is first class, tasteful and appropriate. When the individuals decide to shine, they simply do. There are great solos, breaks and fucking RIFFs. And they read each other like a Frank Miller comic book, all without a hint of bullshit.
But the production, at least in my copy, is pretty bad. Squelchy, it almost sounds un mastered. Maybe that was the goal, but it just sounds like they left the levels too high and forgot to pot them down. There is distortion not only in the guitar work, but in the whole recording, and that sounds shabby. If this is some kind of copy protection thing or if this is a pre-master recording, and the actual release addresses this issue, add one to my production score.
And the bottom line is even with the production issues this record smokes. It’s pure and, in a sense, cleansing. This is what keeps me reviewing and buying and generally supporting heavy metal. Timeless, ferocious, and honestly performed, this CD should be in your case.
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