ARROGANT DESTRUKTOR - Amidst the Blackest Void (WOLFSPELL - CD 2014)
Now I have a pleasure to write few words on my favourite of all Wolfspell Records releases so far. It’s an album from a British band called Arrogant Destruktor – what a fuckin nice band name haha! But it describes the music, general feeling and aura of the music perfectly. It is arrogant, violent, dirty and crushing. Just as any metal basically should be, right? “Amidst the Blackest Void” is Arrogant Destruktor’s first album (it was preceded by two demos from 2013 and 2014). And I honestly didn’t know what should I expect from it; there’s a flyer from record label that compares them to bands like Satyricon and Emperor… and well, I don’t know, maybe I’m deaf, but I completely disagree and can’t find anything comparable to these two bands, except maybe one or two riffs here and there. The entire album, with its harsh and aggressive aura, is just different and I would rather describe it as black / thrash album, with some slight melodic traces. And as comparisons, I guess I would use such bands as Ares Kingdom, D666, Desaster, Bathory, Celtic Frost and maybe a bit of Darkthrone or Immortal! How’s that?
The whole music of Arrogant Destruktor has that nice old school feeling, which I like a lot. I love how they set up the atmosphere in their music and I must also admit that this album crushed me from the very first listen. As I mentioned Ares Kingdom, I feel like both bands have a lot in common, except maybe the fact that the Brits are more blackish. They do have quite strong Scandinavian BM influence, in songs like “Black War Machine”, which surely belongs to the best songs here. Maybe one of the reasons why I like this song so much is that I just prefer when Arrogant Destruktor plays their music in slower tempos rather than the fast, blasting black metal. They just have more interesting stuff to “tell” when playing slower pieces and the music is clearly better arranged and more exciting. And luckily they do everything to keep the balance between both fast and slower stuff, so the music never gets one dimensional or boring. “Black War Machine” with its slow Darkthrone / old Gorgoroth riffing is just bloody good. I love also such “The Rule of Xerxes” – and I don’t know if it’s just my imagination or do this song really capture a bit of that old Greek black metal essence as well?
It’s cool also that Arrogant Destruktor doesn’t avoid being melodic here and there. They may come up with a melodic guitar lead or riffs, and there’s even flute in one short fragment of “Gold is the Flesh of the Sun God”. This song has great Bathory feeling and is damn epic and surely belongs to my favourite tracks on the album. Listen to also “Frozen in Time”, which is a killer song, filled with fast stuff, but also with that epic pieces and some melodic bits as well, so through its seven minutes it’s like a perfect anthem!
I must say also that this album is basically a collection of three different recordings; two new 2014 songs plus both previous demos, so in one release we get everything what Arrogant Destroyer did. It’s interesting that the material, even if taken from three different sessions, is compact and there’s no big sound or style difference between all of them. The production is very good here, by the way, it’s harsh, but powerful, so it only makes the music stronger! Great release then!
Standout tracks: “Frozen in Time”, “The Rule of Xerxes”, “Gold is the Flesh of the Sun God”
Final rate: 75/100