Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

Hurts so good - 89%

failsafeman, December 11th, 2008

First, a few similes:

- Hearing a thousand atomic bombs detonating in the distance while in a greenhouse during an earthquake

- Being buttraped with a chainsaw while an angry giant wearing fuzzy mittens hammers you with his fists

- Unicron taking a shit

Heavy. What does heavy mean, exactly, in reference to music? Well, in short it's the feeling of kinetic force conveyed through, often, the use of pounding drums, down-tuned riffs, and of course rumbling sub-bass. Emphasis on rhythm, as opposed to melody. Why? Well, for the same reasons neanderthals banged on rocks and logs; the joy of making a ruckus, coupled of course with those strange yet powerful responses good rhythms evoke in us. What metalhead had to be taught to headbang? It's a natural response.

Bolt Thrower here put on a clinic on heaviness; the production, the insanely down-tuned instruments, pitch-shifted vocals (I'm sure you've all heard the stories a million times), everything combines to create intense feelings of violent destructive power as implacable and pitiless as the death of a planet. Seriously, the production on Realm of Chaos is the thing I immediately miss whenever I listen to any other Bolt Thrower album, songwriting considerations aside. There's nothing jagged or piercing about it, even the guitar solos are like dim lights seen through grimy glass, barely glimpsed in the face of a wall of sound that makes the ones in Berlin and China look like Legos in Hadrian's playroom. If you smoothed the rough edges of the Sunlight sound out and made it ten times bigger and bassier, you'd have an idea of what this is like. I find myself turning it up to painful levels and praising Khorne as the blood pours from my ears.

The drumming is sloppy. It sounds like Andy Whale (what a heavy name!) is playing his kit with guns. Still, would mechanical precision sound appropriate here? IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE THERE IS ONLY WAR. Whale doesn't just "play" the drums, he wages all-out fucking war on them, and if a few missed beats and some sloppy blasts are collateral damage, well, those are acceptable casualties. The riffs are amazing; simple and repetitive as an artillery bombardment, but so too with a calculated strategy behind them. Parts occasionally betray the thought that went into their forging. Listen to that monster that opens "World Eaters", and that perfect subtle harmonization on the repetition. They also have a tendency to switch gears at just the right time, before you grow used to the current one; they start beating your left kidney with a new riff or tempo just as your right grows numb to the pain. Sweet Tzeentch, listen to "Through the Eye of Terror"!

Influences? Fuck that, Bolt Thrower are influencers, not influencees! They are a death metal war machine that grinds out to battle, promising doom to all those they visit. Sweden definitely span this record, and I bet Autopsy and Bolt Thrower slapped each other on the back when they met in 1989.

The subject matter only heightens the effect of this release; endless war, ancient warriors striving for the favor of the evil gods of chaos through battle to attain the ultimate goal: daemonhood and true immortality. I think Bolt Thrower deserve it.