The Switch To Turn Off Mankind
posted on 11/2007 By:
WARNING: The goal of Audiopain’s music is to messily and painfully shred the facial features off of unprepared listeners with sonic tidal waves of thrash brutality and complete, unadulterated metalness. If this sort of savage audio self-mutilation appeals to you, read on.
The Switch To Turn Off Mankind is Audiopain’s second full-length effort and sees this great Norwegian band honing their already formidable brand of slightly progressive, slightly blackened, totally killer modern thrash. Yes, that‘s right, MODERN. Forget about the newest wave of nostalgia-driven revival knock-off bands, THIS is what thrash should sound like in 2007. Tight, infectious, and more original than you might think, this album will kick your ass. If it doesn’t…well, you must not have an ass.
“Hellbound” positively careens out of the gates and it's immediately clear that these guys aren’t fucking around. Comparisons to some of the more extreme early thrash bands like Kreator and Sodom are valid, but there’s more to Audiopain’s style than you might think at first listen. While the band has mostly phased out the black metal aspect of their sound in recent years, there is still a subtle blackened tint to some of the passages, such as the spidery riffing found in “Alliance” and “Holy Toxic,” that brings to mind the brilliant work of early Dodheimsgard (particularly Monumental Possession). The low-profile nature of this influence may be easy to overlook, but helps to set this trio apart from their more derivative peers. “Termination Fields” sees the outfit reigning in the speed somewhat while sacrificing zero intensity, and the slightly complex structuring of the title track is compelling and well-executed. The band tends to shy away from guitar solos (though the one on “Hellbound” kills), but the riffs and hooks are so strong that I didn‘t even really notice. These songs have actual depth, and the perfectly clear, yet suitably unpolished production gives the music personality and definite staying power. Sverre Dæhli’s throaty screams are rife with energy and character and add even more to the extremely potent sound presented here.
I have only one real complaint regarding TWTTOM, but it's significant; this album is too fucking short. At six songs running a meager 26:49, it's hard not to feel let down once outstanding closer “Cobra Dance” reaches its conclusion--things just seem unfinished, despite that track‘s epic prowess. The high caliber of the songs present makes this all the more disappointing; these guys are clearly capable of churning out quality material (check out their back catalog), and the album’s brevity is too hard to fathom, and thus earned the band a reduced songwriting score. But we all know that quality is ultimately more important than quantity, and Audiopain’s newest is nevertheless a great thrash album that is absolutely worth your attention and money. All of these songs are vicious and catchy as hell, and the playing is tight without sounding obnoxiously so. This band has found their formula and it's clear they are intent on perfecting it, so get on the bandwagon early. Highly recommended…although not the masterpiece it potentially could be.
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