Forged by Satan's Doctrine
posted on 8/2012 By:
I must admit that I approached this album with great enthusiasm and moderate stupidity, because, before I heard a single note of the actual music, King’s debut full-length, Forged by Satan’s Doctrine, seemed to tick all the right boxes: a Colombian black/death quartet that declares to “Kill the Posers Like Christians” (yep, that’s an actual song title), rips off Dark Funeral in the cover art department and dechristens its members with such noms de guerre as Israel Bathroz Sathanas Lucifer and Zarthan Avtomat Kalashnikova. This potpourri of lovable clichés had me expecting nothing less than a full blown, Goatpenis-y Latin American blasphemous madness that makes you want to ram your head through a reinforced tungsten plate in glorious headbanging frenzy. I expected this to be the kind of unholy racket that would show all those left-hand-path-is-an-intellectual-exercise types what it’s really like to be possessed by the devil. Most importantly, I desperately wanted this to be fucking awesome.
Alas, I did not get exactly what I was bargaining for.
Granted, Forged by Satan’s Doctrine is heavy, unrelenting and even menacing at times, but not entirely in the way one would prefer. Instead of following the genre’s charcoal black-clad mainstream that leans on an impenetrable wall of down-tuned guitars, slow-to-mid tempo barraging and skulls-and-spikes aesthetics (think of such bands as Teitanblood, Pseudogod, Witchrist and Diocletian), King steers their vessel into a slightly different direction by putting the stress on the "death" syllable. And, most surprisingly, their death metal − rather than hanging onto the more obvious influences − harkens back to the more controlled and even technical approach of old-school NYDM, which, together with the blackened hue that sweeps across the album, makes the whole ordeal sound an awful lot like the almighty Krisiun.
However, at their current level, King is merely a shadow of the foul-mouthed Brazilian maestros. Frankly speaking, Forged by Satan’s Doctrine has – apart from the downright jaw-dropping bass guitar that sometimes jumps at the center of the stage as the lead instrument – nothing that truly stands out.
The album kicks off with a suitably haunting, cinematic intro piece, “Summon Shub-Niggurath Ye Black”, where shambling, occult chants hang above ethnic percussions, setting the scene for the first display of the band’s cheesy, ultra-satanic schtick. Indeed, the second track, “No Pray, No Mercy, Just Death (Unpromised Satan)” is pretty much what the title promises: beefy yet derivative Suffocation-styled riffage topped with short flurries of sinister lead melody and an occasional pinch-harmonic, twin vocal attack that ranges between low gurgles and screechy rasps spitting out unholy profanity after unholy profanity and, as the rotten cherry on top, horribly boxy sounding drums that, admittedly, do a pretty good job at enveloping the riffs with nice, groovy blasts. And that’s pretty much the whole record in a nutshell. A few of the songs show an attempt to break away from the confines of King’s playbook (for example, the melodeath-like opening riff and breakdown-y mid-section in “When the Walls of Heaven Turn in Black” or the infectious gang vocal exchange of “Macabre Satanas”), but those moments are only rare glimpses of inspiration in the midst of otherwise flat compositions. There’s just no escaping the fact that Forged by Satan’s Doctrine is a second-tier offering from a second-tier band.
It seems, however, that the light of the Morning Star may shine at the end of the tunnel for these Colombians. The album’s two bonus tracks (“Nonlaughter - Zero Fucking Happiness” and “What's Satan Domain”), taken from King’s debut EP from 2006, demonstrate that the outfit has already come a long way in six years, developing from an average demo band into a troupe of competent albeit slightly uninventive musicians. So, while Forged by Satan’s Doctrine may not be the ultimate coup d'état that helps these Columbians seize power and force even those of us, who have been robbed of our monarchy, to loudly proclaim “All hail the King!”, it’s not a blubbering mess either and definitely shows some promise, if only in terms of instrumental proficiency and a couple of neck-snapping riffs.
Now, about those song titles…
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