Album Title: All Idols Fall Before the Hammer
Label: Dark Descent
This is the first full-length record from Adversarial, a Canadian band playing black/death metal.
The guitar sound on this record is just about perfect, with an ideal ratio of low-end and cutting lead guitar. The vomitous vocals are right there with them, and are used almost as another instrument, giving the record a unified sound. The only exception is the drums, which are right up front in the mix. In particular, the snare has a hollow sound which tends to overwhelm everything else during the blasting parts. It's a bit annoying, but I got used to it pretty quick; it helps to turn the bass (and the volume!) up. Besides, the drumming is killer, so why not enjoy it?
The songwriting more than makes up for it, anyway. Adversarial's churning style is faintly reminiscent of both old Morbid Angel and Incantation, with a strong dose of chaotic Canadian-style death metal. This record is packed with insane riffs and tempo changes, all over some of the best drumming you'll hear this year. Those who heard the demo will recognize "Thralls" and "Scourge of a World Ablaze", but the extra-heavy production gives them a lot more punch this time around... and the new songs are of an even higher caliber. The title track is simply unstoppable, an impenetrable maze of twisting guitars and pummelling drums. It manages to be catchy at the same time, too -- the stomping section near the end is brilliant! "In a Night of Endless Pain..." provides a moment's break from the relentless blasting, in the form of a crushing instrumental-only track. The reprieve is only temporary, though, as the second half of the album is as punishing as the first. "Death.Rot.Monolith" is just plain crazy, with some of the best vocals on the record, and "...In Black Vaults of a Death God" puts the perfect cap on the album. The combination of fast and slow parts here is sublime, and the drumming... the drumming!
"All Idols Fall Before the Hammer" is one of the best albums of 2010 -- anyone who prizes extremity and uncompromising heaviness should seek this out. Fans of Canadian bands like Revenge, Begrime Exemious, Mitochondrion, and Antediluvian will be especially pleased with it, but this record should appeal to all worshippers of blasting black/death metal. Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "All Idols Fall Before the Hammer", "In a Night of Endless Pain...", "In Black Vaults of a Death God"