Thursday, March 18, 2010

Krabathor - Dissuade Truth (2003)

Dissuade Truth is the 6th and final nail in the coffin for Petr Krystof's Krabathor, at least until he one day decides to raise the band up from the ashes of hiatus. Sadly, it's also the least interesting effort in the entire career of the band, opting for a rather straightforward brutal tone than its predecessor. It's still a muddy sounding record, featuring the same lineup, but the grit and grime here is cast strictly through the crunch of the distortion and not the swamplike bite of Unfortunately Dead. Coincidentally, this is the Krabathor album you'd most likely hear from any random brutal death metal act in either the Americas or Europe, and that's exactly why I haven't developed much of a response to it.

Now, before I go so far as to convince anyone that I'm taking a crap on this album, I'm not. This is in no way terrible, just underwhelming. There are some great leads here, and a few fun, thrashing riffs scattered among the 36 minutes, but in the end I could not think of a single standout track. The album is closest in grasp to Orthodox, but it lacks the superior songwriting of the 90s Krabathor, settling simply to hammer you down a few pegs. Speckmann and Skull seem to fade right into the tapestry, and Krystof's vocals seem less than enthusiastic, the equal of any quickly forgotten grunter on the world death metal stage. Even the cover collage feels rather lazy, what with the cross of Krabathor logos, a big fat skull and an LA gang-banger looking album font. But then I've never cared for the band's covers, aside from Cool Mortification.

All of those things would be easy to forgive if the music was any compensation, but I found very little merit to the majority of the tracks. After a drawn out, slowed speech intro, the title track lunges forward, a battering of death and grind that never seems to quite get its bait on the hook, despite some amusing super-guttural counter vocals in the earlier verse. "Dead Hate Screaming" goes straight through the ears, though "Smell All the Stench" at least has some great, warped leads and a thrashing gait reminiscent of "Zombie Ritual" ala Scream Blood Gore. "No One" goes for a big groove that remains interesting for only a few repetitions, and "Silence Will Cover Noise" has very little of worth save for the leads and deep thrashing rhythm at the minute mark. "Burning Bridges" and "Face the Intruder" are the dominant force on the album; though neither is outstanding, they both have some furious chopping momentum that would make it difficult to sit still. "Face the Intruder" also has a killer lead segment at around 1:30. "Who is Guilty" and "Saving of Mind" did little to reel me in, though the former remains pretty busy throughout.

Dissuade Truth suffers from the syndrome of mediocrity, for which there is no cure except to lay it to rest and listen back on brighter days...or darker days, like Cool Mortification or Lies. I'm sure that those less demanding fans of death metal who simply require grunting and tightly wound, aggressive riffs with no memorable impact would peruse this much like any other album in their collection. Good for a head banging, good for pissing off your Mom. But not good enough for Krabathor, in my humble opinion.

Highlights: Burning Bridges, Face the Intruder

Verdict: Indifference [6/10]
(they'll be victims by tomorrow)

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