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Autokrator – Persecutor

by Andrew Graham at 27 January 2022, 10:25 PM

French Blackened Death metal trio AUTOKRATOR unleash their fourth album Persecutor. Well renowned for their exploration of authoritarianism, tyranny, and obedience to authority, AUTOKRATOR tackle the persecution of Christians under the late Roman emperors. Though short in length, the album comprises some fairly lengthy tracks, so the listener is treated to a fine selection of palatable Blackened filth.

“De Gloria Martyrum Et Confessorum” opens with many, many layers. Wailing guitars form a distressing backdrop against which thumping drums and chunky riffs populate the foreground. A truly auspicious start! The levels of the different instruments has actually been done really intelligently. Great care has been taken to ensure nothing is drowned out by anything else. Vocals stand out without obscuring the view. Flurries on the drums populate the mid-section before the track closes with the same level of brutality that opened it (arguably, more brutality!) “The Great Persecution” flows naturally after, featuring the same wailing guitars. They almost evoke wails of suffering and pain – very much deliberate, no? The tempo is slower, but Kevin seemingly uses this as an excuse to simply double his drumming speed – frightening stuff!

“DCLXVI” is, if such a thing exists, an arena-anthem Death metal track (it’s a thing now!) The chanting of “D.O.M.I.T.I.A.N.” is infectious, I couldn’t help but imagine the effect of this on a live crowd! Once again we fade out and into “Antechristus”, a nearly ten-minute assault of the senses! This track really dives into the violence of the Christian persecutions, and the severity of the music matches the material. The atmosphere created is deeply oppressive, fitting excruciatingly well with the material being dealt with. “Caesar Nerva Traianus” makes good use of militaristic snare drumbeats to evoke the Roman triumph, albeit with the signature sinister mood established by now – very much appropriate for a soldier-emperor who oversaw a significant expansion of the Roman Empire through force of arms.

The album closes with “Apocalypsis” (Latin for ‘Revelation’), an instrumental track featuring extensive Latin narration (I’d love to know what is being said!) which slowly fades away. A little disappointing as an album closer but make no mistake, this is a real treat! For those who really get a kick out of acts like BEHEMOTH will get a lot out of this. It’s incredibly well done, and great time and care has been taken to establish an atmosphere that’s genuinely sinister and not the least bit goofy. Hail Saturnas!

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. De Gloria Martyrum Et Confessorum
2. The Great Persecution
4. Antechristus
5. Caesar Nerva Traianus
6. Apocalypsis
David Bailey – Vocals
Loïc Fontaine – Guitars, bass, samples
Kevin Paradis – Drums
Record Label: Krucyator Productions


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