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Four Across the Ears - 66%

globaldomination, September 2nd, 2008

Iniquity are bad fucking ass. No doubt about it. When they used to walk in through the hanging doors of a Danish saloon (?), dusty old cowpokes would stop playing poker, put down their whiskey, and head for the back exit. While I have yet to hear much of their discography, everything that I have come across is meaner than a bag full of rattlesnakes thrown in a dryer then tossed into a baby stroller.

The problem is that “Five across the eyes” is holy fuck at first and then meh upon repeated listens. Why? The guitar tone sported here sounds like the ugly child of Suffocation and Entombed, and that is just as wonderful as it sounds. The growls are gravelly and low. The drumming is technical but not overly so, leaving the human element intact. Even the bass makes its presence felt. Not that this is Bassmaster 2000, mind you, but still Iniquity’s low end is bludgeoning. And the production fits their meaty hand like O.J.’s bloody glove. Actually, better than that glove. Based on their history of groove filled, semi-complicated, deeply gruff death metal I doubt Iniquity would be acquitted of any murder whatsoever.

However, even with all of these essential pieces in place, I don’t find myself popping in “Five across the eyes” as much as I used to. The problem lies in the songwriting, I’m afraid. Too many tracks sound like weaker versions of other tracks. Which is a bummer, because you can tell these Danes have the skills to pay their windmill and tulip related bills. But something’s missing to make this disc a classic.

But when they do it right, they do it right. The opener “Inhale the ghost” brings you into the wonderful world of Iniquity. It’s like finding a beautiful abandoned city in the jungle filled with gold, then being impaled with a spear by the locals. “Surgical orb” is downright violent and makes you hope that these guys stay far, far away from the operating table when you’re getting double bypass surgery. “Sidereal seas” is great too, with an odd sense of anti-melody that carries the whole thing to its conclusion. Whereupon you get kicked in the dick by “Random bludgeon battery,” whose title is a lot of fun to say in a slurred death metal voice.

On a side note, that is one problem I’ve got with Iniquity. The dude Mads has a great voice, but he rarely changes his tone (at all) and quite frequently his pronunciation sounds like a dude that’s about three beers away from liver failure. It doesn’t help the sense of repetition that plagues FATE. Whoa, I just figured out the album title spells out FATE! That is spooky as shit. I wonder if they did that on purpose. Denmark, what a country.

Back to the track by track ANALysis. Besides “Forensic alliance” and a very pretty little interlude with a chick singing (ALERT LORD K), the rest is skip material that just clogs up the pipes. But what the fuck, that’s six great songs out of a nine song disc that is under 40 minutes. So I guess Iniquity is pretty damn above average! My whole theory, that FATE is meh, will have to be discarded. As long as you don’t sit down and listen to the whole thing at once, it is actually quite awesome.

Praise Jeebus that I wrote this review. What a revelation. By simply weighing out the empirical evidence (good tracks divided by total number of tracks), how can I give these fuckers anything less than a:

66.6666666666666667 again I wonder if the 666 is on purpose? out of 10.

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