posted on 7/2009 By:
Originally starting out as more of a deathcore/metalcore act, Moker (Dutch for Sledge Hammer) smartly shifted their energy to a more brutal form of death metal on 2007s impressive Translating the Pain. However, with another couple of years under their belt, this Belgian act has further improved their bludgeoning form of death metal into a brutal, hefty visage that should but them up there with the big boys.
Culling from their inherent Belgian chunkiness, Moker has injected a sharp sense of brutality that puts the band squarely in the Aborted, The Cleansing realms and then throw in a horror movie themed concept (complete with truly disturbing samples as heard on “Please Don’t Kill Me!” and “Weak as Piss”- taken from Wolf Creek possibly?) as well as some huge left over slam/deathcore breakdowns, Total Domination is an apt title for one of 2009's best death metal albums that hardly anyone will hear.
With a typically beefy CCR studios (Battalion, Crimson Falls, Blutch) production, Moker, while certainly treading the line between brutal death metal and deathcore, certainly ‘feel’ much more like a death metal band, but not a forced pseudo death metal act like many of their American counterparts (I’m looking at you Job For A Cowboy). The riffs drip with death metal menace and the breakdowns are far more shifty, guttural grooves rather than face kicking nonsense. For example “Victims of Abduction Bound By Chains,” “Reminiscence Of A Psychopath,” the utterly immense closing of personal favorite “Manual Strangulation” and the title track are just fucking immense (arguably a couple of my favorite ‘breakdowns of the year), but retain a classic sense of death metal as opposed to simple open note breakdowns. There’s also plenty of blasting, free from tech noodling or arpeggios as the likes of “Bodybagged,” “As I Stalk my Prey” bring the pain with a mix of American and European death metal brutality.
Total Domination as well as Reflection, the debut from Sweden’s As You Drown, are two of the lower profile death metal releases of the year, but both should be at the top of the list of every death metal fan who just wants some very competent, quality pummeling death metal that’s not about a scene, sales or image.
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