Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Old Man's Child - Slaves of the World (2009)

Oslo's Old Man's Child are one of the more commercial bands of their genre, surely drawing the ire of black metal purists, but when has that ever mattered? If that debate is still going on, I'd be surprised, with OMC having not shown a degree of that thin, trebly grimness in any large amount for a number of albums. Slaves of the World continues their path down something of a melodic and symphonic death metal avenue, musically at least. In spirit they still share similarities with the black metal scene, but they are fleeting at best, mostly shown in song titles.

Galder's vocals are relatively unique and certainly well done, as he shows a nice variety, and still emanating evil through and through. The music is up to the task, produced excellently as one would expect given past efforts, with punchy guitars, some simple and yet effective keys here and there à la Emperor, that coupled with a vocalist of Galder's caliber, make for a good listening experience (like most of their work). The first song, the title track, wastes no time. It opens on a rollicking riff reminiscent of Impaled Nazarene, then slowing to a mid-paced tempo that gives way to a nice hook.

"Saviours of Doom" is a personal favorite of mine on the album, a breakneck quilt of metal goodness, which actually sums up the entire album pretty well. "Path of Destruction" opens with a military-esque drum piece over ominous keys, touching back on a similar smattering of percussion just before the two minute mark in "Saviours of Doom." These are nice, unobtrusive touches. "The Spawn of Lost Creation" is the most purely death metal song, with the vocals approaching something similar to Karl Willets -- perhaps the drums in the aforementioned tracks are subtle Bolt Thrower nods? Maybe. However, musically the death metal link is somewhat tenuous, certainly there in some aspects, but Old Man's Child simply have a niche of their own that tops any comparison.

Slaves of the World is a rather good album, inching them farther into the death style, yet retaining their symphonic touches and occult spirit that have been there since the band's beginnings.

Verdict: Win [8.5/10]
(dark is the day)


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