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Autokrator - Autokrator

by Review by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 01 June 2015, 9:55 AM

Ever listened to an album that’s made you feel physically dirty? Well give the debut album from Parisian five-piece AUTOKRATOR a spin. By the end you’ll be convinced you’ve been wading through waist deep swamp water for the past eight songs and no amount of washing will ever change that. It’s a thoroughly unpleasant record and mercilessly heavy, but it’s also difficult to recommend.

The brainchild of band leader Loic F, AUTOKRATOR play an unholy mix of Industrial and Death Metal. The vocals are low register growls, all the instruments sound like they were recorded in machine shops and the mix is dense and suffocating. The lyrics are impossible to decipher, but apparently have something to do with the Roman Empire. There’s none of the martial glory of marching beneath the Imperial Eagle or the splendour of a victory procession though, there’s just the harsh reality of lying in your own filth with your intestines spilling out and a Gaulish spear embedded in your armpit. It’s a dark, brutal album and about as nasty as extreme music gets.

Unfortunately though, the pure destructive power isn’t enough to make this a worthwhile purchase. Adding Industrial influences has certainly increased the sense of cataclysmic despair, but once you get over that it’s actually quite dull. "The Tenth Persecution" for instance starts off well, but from then on the tempo doesn’t change, the mood never alters and all the tracks bleed into one. Each is a pummeling wall of noise and violence, all are roughly the same speed and none have any individual character. There’s a momentary respite in the fourth track which consists of someone ranting in Italian over the steady beat of a drum, but otherwise it’s completely interchangeable.

Given that they only formed a year ago, it’s impressive that AUTOKRATOR have got their debut out already and their overall sound is certainly an eye-opener, but they could really do with more variation on the next record. This is oppressive, scorched-earth music from a world of ash and desolation, but ‘harsh’ doesn’t always mean ‘interesting.’

2 Star Rating

1. Act One – The Tenth Persecution
2. Act Two – Exsuperator
3. Act Three – The Filthy Pig Of Rome
4. Act Four – Autokrator
5. Act Five – Qualis Artifex Pereo
6. Act Six – Sic Divus, Modo Non Vivus
7. Act Seven – Imperial Whore
8. Act Eight – Optimus Princeps
Oleg I – Drums
Loic F – Guitars, Bass
Markian Volkov – Samples
Brandon L. Polaris – Vocals
David Bailey - Vocals
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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