Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Disclaimer: I proofread all of Humanoid's English FB posts - 86%

MutantClannfear, December 2nd, 2019
Written based on this version: 2012, Digital, Independent

Nestled deep within the !T.O.O.H.! discography (I think this release was only made available via a probably-now-dead MediaFire link on the band's Facebook page) is the missing link between the band's second and third full-lengths, Pod vládou biče and Order and Punishment, respectively. Apparently planned as material for a split that never materialized, Z terária do kolumbária keeps most of the positives of Pod vládou biče while avoiding the large degree of streamlining that made its successor somewhat disappointing.

The riffing is furious and passionate much in the same way that made the previous album so good. A lot of !T.O.O.H.!'s riffs are a dazzling mix of punishing and beautiful, ferocious but with a certain playfulness and self-awareness. Probably TMI, but it always makes me think of dolphins tossing a seal around for fun before eating it, like the band know that they can overwhelm you with brutality and madness but are holding off for a while just to amuse themselves. In this era, the band somehow always sounds either like an oriental bazaar, a demented circus, or a warped record on a turntable - every single section falls short of comparison to anything else within metal, save projects featuring other !T.O.O.H.! members. I've been listening to this band for years and I still wonder what the hell Humanoid must be listening to to make riffs this inimitable. Bright and beautiful chords whirl around up scales and back down, giving way to brooding death metal riffs or slightly more straightforward but still acrobatic grind sections. The songwriting, to the surprise of nobody, is unbelievably tight, as both songs' riffs flow beautifully from movement to movement. The vocals, as usual, fucking rule, sounding like some sort of demented bird dictator king regally decreeing this way and that. The band really has to be heard to be believed (although if you're listening to this you've probably heard the rest of their discography) - when they get going, they capture an emotional space untouchable by anybody else in music, let alone death metal.

My complaints are pretty circumstantial, really. Firstly is the pretty demo-like production. I prefer the primal recording of Pod vládou biče to the Relapse-funded studio work on Order and Punishment, but this is almost a bit too raw. The guitars are thin, and most of the high end of the mix is taken up by the clanky snare and the vocals; the guitars rightfully deserve to fill up more of this space. Second, the beginning of the first song is a bit jarring - just straight into an almost-normal deathgrind riff with the crappy production - and I think it may be the reason I don't listen to this more often. Finally, the vocal-only outro is a bit goofy. Order has a similar thing for the intro of the first song (and in one sense it's cool how this outro kind of feeds into that intro), but it doesn't bother me as much because the album as a whole is a bit more substantial. The intro here, on the other hand, takes up about 10% of the release's length. If I were !T.O.O.H!, I'd have stuck it as an intro onto the front of "Bez původu k postavení" to ease into that track and killed two birds with one stone. But these issues aren't a big deal in the grand scheme when the riffs and composition are perhaps some of the best ever conceived in the genre of deathgrind. Pod vládou biče is a perfect, straight 100% album for me. This, while not quite to that level, is cut from the same cloth and is therefore deserving of high praise. I highly recommend it.