Autokrator
The Obedience To Authority

The post-apocalyptic din made by the French sado-machinists in Autokrator on their self-titled debut turned quite a few heads last year, including mine. It was one of the most jarring, oppressive recordings ever to assault my eardrums. I feel like my hearing was forever altered along with my standard for metal extremity. With an industrial death metal sound already pushed to its limit, how could they possibly progress on their follow-up, The Obedience to Authority? The answer is subtly.

After some unsettling sounds of watery torture, their patented wall of sound hits at full force. But, something is a little different this time around. It sounds a bit more human, as if the machines that created the last album have begun to emulate their extinct creators. The shift isn’t as drastic as the one that Godflesh made on Hymns, but it’s noticeable, and aided by the production. It sounds as if a green slime has formed on all of the machinery in their abandoned factory since the first album. This is neither good nor bad, just different. However, it definitely is a positive to hear more variety within and between the songs. The pinnacle of their efforts is “Chapter VII” as it builds from a throbbing, stomping dirge to warp-speed grinding with moments of stop/start bursts and distant ambience. The only downside with the increased variety is the inclusion of a few ambient/industrial tracks that do little more than offer some respite from their usual onslaught.

The theme this time is totalitarianism. Seemingly in the spirit of that political system, three band members have been eliminated, leaving just Loïc.F and vocalist David Bailey. So, no more dual vocalists, but David Bailey does more than a fine enough job by himself with his commanding vocals sounding like David Vincent channeled through a Fallout 4 sentry bot. No one is credited for drums, so I can only assume that they were programmed, which is kind of ironic considering the more natural feel of the album. If they really weren’t performed by a human, Loïc.F did a damn good job making them sound like they were.

If you’re someone who needs riffs and memorability in their metal, you should probably still steer clear of these guys because, even with the changes that they’ve made, there’s still not really any of those things here. But, if you dwell in metal’s most extreme fringes, this is your new authority. Submit!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Adam Palm
April 28th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    sort of like Portal and Anaal Nathrakh. I like it.


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