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Appeals to the thrasher inside black metallers - 92%

OlioTheSmall, June 4th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2005, CD, Avantgarde Music

For me, this album has been a go to for about 9 years when I'm craving outright aggression coupled with kick arse riffs. This is a no nonsense recording that aims to spread hate, rage, misanthropy, despair and all that good stuff. Also some stuff about ZOG, but uh... eh... hmmm.

Anyway, what we have here is militant black metal with a prominent thrash side to it. The previous two Ad Hominem albums were more straight forward; a pretty typical black metal affair. For A New World saw some elements of thrash, but nothing like we see here. This is the album where Kaiser shows his best riff craft.

The album proceeds mostly at a quick tempo, with speed being an element to every song. Kaiser has always written quite well when at a running pace, with previous Ad Hominem releases not shying away from top gear. So while sonic velocity is a core element of this brew, you'll also find some cracker mid paced thrashers mixed in. The dish even comes with a couple slow bits to wash everything down with. This variance allows each track to stand out from each other, which can be refreshing in a world where non-stop blasting tends to blur songs together.

The assortment of riffs on display here means that tempo changes are frequent. So while every song will make it's way to full speed at some point, you're always going to be treated to something other than a merciless charge. The way these tempo shifts are managed, everything seems appropriate as each track progresses; nothing seems done just for the sake of it. This has allowed for the creation of some truly memorable riffs and moments. The catchiness of the title track's chorus, the chugging march of 'The Upper Art', those driving opening chords of 'Join or Perish' and a cutting main riff from 'Achtung' are just a few highlights.

There really isn't anything to criticise regarding this album's execution. Speed needs a decent drummer to back it up and session kit man Azk.6 (appearing here as Altar) is a fine choice for the job. He is precise when called upon for speed and provides a steady backing to the album's marching riffs. Kaiser fronts Altar's efforts by taking on all other roles. He has gotten a great tone out of his guitar that sounds grouse on the sharper, black metal riffs. 'Achtung' is the prime example of this and arguably best song on the album. The vocals are standard for black metal; nothing exceptional or unique, but the delivery is passionate and serves as a sufficient war cry.

The entire album (and a lot of Ad Hominem) is tied together by a militaristic, wartime feel. Many moments of this album would play well to footage of marching soldiers. This atmosphere is powerfully complemented by the industrial elements present on this release. Riffs alone make this album a ripper, but the industrial moments are what make it stand out. While the instruments stir up images of war, battle and human aggression; the distant, machine like sounds that are placed between the onslaughts are devoid of life. Empty and cold counterparts to the passionate anger of the music. To this effect, the inclusion of a Mysticum cover is entirely appropriate.

For Ad Hominem, Climax of Hatred is an album of maturing and for me, their best effort. The band was able to differentiate themselves from the generic black metal horde without sacrificing any of the menace or atmosphere of the genre. Politics aside, this album should fit in nicely with most metalheads' collections and will continue to see regular rotation in mine.

The enemy of mankind - 100%

Casper666, October 18th, 2006


I've never heard of Ad Hominem before. I read some smashing reviews in Danish magazines and thought to give it a try. What a decision!

The sound:
Ad Hominem plays some of the most aggressive and fast black metal I've heard in a long time. Within the hateful sound, you find elements of catchy riffs and raw, ugly and dirty atmosphere, the style is industrial black metal, which makes it catchy yet terrorising. The sound could be compared a bit to Marduk's "Plague Angel" and Tsjuder's "Desert Northern Hell", but still Ad Hominem sounds like nothing else I've heard before.

The lyrics:
The vocals are distorted, hateful and 100% insane! (Reminds a little bit of Abbath's (Immortal) vocal on the intro to Blizzard Beasts). The hate and disgust for mankind and human life couldn't be more intense. The lyrics are all so hateful that they exterminate every proof of life, leaving nothing but pulverizing hate and life turned into dust. Some might say that Ad Hominem's lyrics are a directly attack on Jews, because they (or he) plays NSBM, but through the entire album, it is never mentioned directly; sure there is references to misanthropy, but it is directed to all of mankind.

I can't even pick out a favourite track, because they are all great individually. If I should try to pick out a few, then it may be the title song Climax of Hatred, As I Long For and My Loudest Scream of Hate.

All in all:
Ad Hominem is within no doubt the biggest enemy of mankind. The extreme and intense disgust is so strong and the music so damn great. You almost find yourself marching to your cd-player putting "Climax of Hatred" on repeat again and again. Do yourself a favour and listen to this masterpiece of an album at least once!