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QUANTUM HIERARCHY - review
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DESTRUCTION -... - interview
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SUBDUER - review
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DREADFUL FATE - review
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KOROIDIA - review
(May 01, 2018)

THE NEGATION
THE NEGATION
Memento Mori
(Kaotoxin Records)
42:23min

While innovation may not be happening frequently in Black Metal, there are some bands like THE NEGATION that keep churning out extremely solid and potent music. The template is basically the Swedish style of Black Metal propagated by the likes of DISSECTION, MARDUK and GORGOROTH, and THE NEGATION here sound like a mix of all of those, albeit enhanced aesthetically, borrowing the dissonance of BLUT AUS NORD and the steely texture of INQUISITION while they’re at it. It’s rather effective as this album eschews the unnecessarily “kvlt” values, which are sometimes insufferable especially with regards to the production, and goes for a clean yet piercing production with just the right tone and tempering. It’s blast-ridden like say MARDUK or better still, TRIUMPHATOR, but this isn’t a one trick pony. That’s the biggest strength of this French band. Each song unravels an interesting aspect of the band, punctuated by Death Metal segments, hooks and even hypnotic dissonance. This will have you lashing back and forth like a cowboy stuck on an automated horse-galloping toy machine in a Western-style bar. The variations are rampant and keep your attention from waning. It’s in fact a delight to listen to this album go from strength to strength in its duration, playing gritty Black Metal while showing off its extracurricular skills once in a while - and that’s necessary too, for in this day and age, just simple meat and potatoes Black Metal doesn’t cut it. And yet, sometimes that’s all you yearn for, because too many of them dabble in superficial DSBM or ruin the momentum of the genre by attempting to play something ostensibly atmospheric. This one is a kick in the ass. It reminds you of the pure potency of the genre in the first place, that it’s not just make-up and church burnings, or a call to kill yourself, but a form of music that can be enjoyed for its riffs, speed and overall nature. I haven’t heard Black Metal this invigorating since ages. But anyway, the ones that get noticed are usually the ones dabbling in Eastern philosophies or those that portray something outstandingly “kvlt”. Here’s where the inherent quality of the genre shines through. This is Black Metal that sizzles, torches and thrills without doing anything gimmicky, and thank god for that. Around the halfway mark, however, the band settles for slower, INQUISITION style hooks or hypnotic parts and admittedly the initial drive is hampered but invariably, the album picks up and gives you that rush that’s keeping this CD spinning. It’s what will make you come back for more, because this is superbly tempered Black Metal with enough stylistic indulgences to keep you entertained, as the ferocious execution blows your mind over and over again. This is why we listen to extreme music in the first place. “Memento Mori”’ showcases impeccably solid if unoriginal music, but if that’s what you’re looking for, it doesn’t get better than this. www.facebook.com/pages/the-negation/214138688730320, www.kaotoxin.com

Kunal Choksi

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