Hammer Of The Heretics by AutokratorRelease date: April 10, 2018
Label: Krucyator Productions
French death metal trio Autokrator make that genre of filth-grinding music that soils the ears with perversity in a similar syringe-pricked vein as fellow French legion Arkhon Infaustus.
On new full length Hammer of the Heretics, the follow up to 2016s excellent The Obedience to Authority, Autokrator present 5 tracks of unrelenting hammer-to-the-crotch extreme metal replete with that impending doom fear factor ever-present. One instrumental interlude and four fleshed-out tracks – or should that be flesh peeling – form the bones of this nerve-shredding and deliciously twisted album.
Opener ‘Against Flesh and Blood’ wastes no time in parading its hostile energy with strings tuned to chaos that build to a guttural punch of distortion and frenzied drum hits with all the fire of a blacksmith’s hammer. ‘Le Sang Impur’ marks Autokrator’s lengthiest track to date and stands up to its epicness in equally proportioned authority. After a brief respite in shape of the tormentous ambience of the interlude the title track ‘Hammer of the Heretics’ returns Autokrator to their destructive best. Final track ‘Inquisitio-Denunciatio-Exceptio’ shifts pace and lurches towards its end.
Four years into their reign and already on album number three Autokrator may have delivered their most punishing release. As previously mentioned the five tracks here are fleshed-out in length allowing for more depth and vision but also require more patience as this is by no means an easy listen. Some parts are more sluggish than others due to the doom-laden injection of hellishly slow riffs and pounding rhythmic drums that suit lengthier tracks so this addition is what truly sets this album apart from their others.
Autokrator relish in the rawness of death metal and bring the deep unfiltered abominations that less over-produced production can offer, though a cleaner production job would enhance each instrument to its benefit. Still, the muddy guitars ooze supremacy, defiance and savagery, all traits of many of the dictators they write about. Riffs bleed into one another scything and grinding into a wall of blood-red noise and the vocal atrocities of David Bailey lick furiously with fork-tongued abandon. As battering as Paradis’ drums are they are a tad on the audibly low side and consumed in the mix so here’s hoping that on album four they crank that up a little.
The music should quench your blood-thirst but if not then check out that cover! All good stuff!