Krabathor – Orthodox 1998 – 74%
Immediately I noticed that this is a much different Krabathor. This sounds much more modern than any previous output. This is a technical and brutal exercise in death metal. The opening title track mixes in carefully constructed blast beats with what seems like exponentially beefier and pounding double bass when compared to Lies. Holy shit! How much of a difference 3 years can make! Liquid continues in the absolutely devastating assault of wrath-filled riffage. You really wouldn’t know this was Krabathor if you hadn’t seen the album yourself. The new-found technicality is simply that huge of a departure from their early albums. Although the technicality is about 5 notches up, the atmosphere is somewhat similar to that of Lies. The production is nearly the same, with a very clear, organic, and full sound. The drums sound lower in the mix though. That was the problem with Lies, and here the drums are even quieter. Way to compound your faults, guys!
In the late 80s, and spilling into the early 90s, Krabathor wrote a lot of songs. Orthodox is the first album to not feature any songs from any of the earlier thrash influenced demos. I guess that might explain the difference in the songwriting, as a lot of the thrash has been replaced by groove. Technically (pun intended), this is a continuation of the Krabathor sound. It’s just a little bit hard to understand at first. The song To Red Ones could have been from Lies, if it didn’t have those pesky pinch harmonics. The main riff in this song is a riff from Annihilator’s Alice In Hell (somewhere on that album anyways). Body as a Cover goes back into the realm of Lies and throws in a little bit of thrashy riffage for everyone to munch on. Parasites also fits into the classic Krabathor list.
The track Shit Comes Brown is a minute long blast of fury that spits out a little bit of grind influenced death metal. It’s a bit of an oddity on the album though, as it is the only track like that. And the lyrics are fucking dumb. What happened to the creative and poetic Krabathor lyrics of past albums? Oh well. This is the late 90s! Lets jumpdafuckup and resort to useless explicatives that we use with absolutely no meaning and/or thought behind them! Well, it isn’t that bad, but you get the picture.
This album is weaker than earlier Krabathor albums, but only because it is stronger. It seems like Krystof is trying to keep up with the fact that death metal was getting more and more brutal as the 90s progressed. In some ways, they’ve succeeded. In others, they’ve failed. They certainly can go berzerk and crazy with technicality, but really, should they?
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