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Autokrator- The Obedience to Authority

I wasn’t expecting another Autokrator album so quickly after last year’s self-titled debut, but that’s exactly what has happened. Since that release, the band went through some lineup changes and their sophomore effort ‘The Obedience to Authority’ now finds them working as a duo. Compared to its predecessor, the material here isn’t quite as suffocating but still manages to be just as Earth shatteringly heavy and a perfect example of how to do blasting, bottom heavy death metal right. There’s a slight bit more structure to the songs, and while Autokrator still like to use some droning riffing and bursts of electronics that were prominent on their debut the step forward in songwriting is evident and makes this one leave more of a lasting impression.

an album that is just as utterly crushing and overwhelming, but the subtle nuances make the material stand out a bit more than before on an individual level

The first Autokrator album was a constant blast to the face, with the sheer density of the instrumentation feeling like an earthquake that threatened to drag the listener down to the depths of Hell. This is still true on ‘The Obedience to Authority’, but the difference is that there is slightly more separation between the instruments this time around and this makes it a bit easier to pick out the individual details. The result is that you have an album that is just as utterly crushing and overwhelming, but the subtle nuances make the material stand out a bit more than before on an individual level. Don’t get me wrong, Autokrator is still ultimately focused on stretched out riffing that takes on more of a droning feel and does its best to beat the listener into submission with sheer force. But there’s a bit more that one can latch on to here, and it’s the type of ugly, abrasive riffing that will appeal to anyone with a taste for the filthier death metal and black/death metal leaning bands. Once again there are lulls to the blasts that come in the form of some electronic/industrial breaks that are just as ominous sounding as the rest of the material, and the band let noise artist Auditor compose the six minute outro that drops the volume down significantly but lets the dirt and grime seep in even further. I still think this type of industrial edged, droning death metal will prove to be an acquired taste for some, but those who are willing to dive right in will find that the band has taken some steps forward and are hinting at even more intriguing things still to come.

Autokrator

David Bailey’s vocal work made a big impression on the debut, and it seems to have only been amplified on ‘The Obedience to Authority’. It certainly can’t be easy to deliver a performance that’s capable of standing out amongst Autokrator’s dense instrumental work and Earth shattering volume, but he’s once again managed to do so with low pitched, reverberating growls that are capable of generating earthquakes all on their own. The bottom heaviness of both the instrumentals and vocals is what makes the material continue to stand out, and Bailey’s destructive growls are delivered in a way that makes it surprisingly easy to pick out a lot of the lyrical content. Autokrator has continued to utilize some well-placed samples, particularly during the softer breaks, and this ties in well with the Roman history and authoritarian themes that are utilized throughout the course of the album.

‘The Obedience to Authority’ is a natural step forward for Autokrator, as they’ve kept the crushing, dense death metal that made such an impression on me from their debut while switching up the production values to make the nuances a bit more apparent. There’s also a bit more of an emphasis on the industrial/ambient elements, though some of these seem to be hinting at an even greater mixture of the violent death metal and grimier industrial still to come on a future release. It’s another strong effort in such a short span of time, and worth diving into if dense, unrelenting blasts and murkier, ambient breaks sounds like something you’re interested in. With the band now operating as a duo, they’ve continued to move forward and explore some intriguing elements, and with these two releases in quick succession seem to be hinting at even more experimentation and destruction.

Godz ov War Productions |Krucyator Productions

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Author:

Chris Dahlberg Owner of Cosmosgaming.com, avid metal head, video game, and anime fan. The noisier and harsher the metal is, the more I like it!