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"Checkmate, God! The Game is over!" - 100%

GodOfMalice, November 7th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Pagan Records

There are few albums I can deem "Perfect" in my book, and at first, I thought this album was a disappointment. A 6 year gap in between albums, and a year+ long gap between the release of the first single, had me have a lot of hype for the album, and I actually listened to the download of this album before I got it on CD (which i never do). At first, i had apprehension to re-listen to most of the tracks on the album, but on further listens, I found destructive beauty and hateful admiration.

The whole album feels produced like a movie soundtrack, cinematic in nature, and a force to be reckoned with. The album creates an intoxicating atmosphere so grand in scale it feels like it reaches towards the infinity of the cosmos and thundering reaches of unfathomable existentialism and hatred. The guitar work and riffs on 'Scars are still sexy', 'Phantom black Dogs' and 'Checkmate, God!' are depressive and all consuming on their nature, and feel like they're sending you to a void of black infinity. The drum machine and programming sound much more realistic than the techno/industrial precedent set by the band, and instead sound tribal and martial, adding to the sound of this album. The bass work is also much more present and impressive on this album.

Presentation also matches the first album with amazing material used for the booklet and feels like a walk down memory lane. The lyrics are spewed forth once again by people hater, and sounds much more weathered than his prior performances, adding to the theme of despair and nihilism of the album. Lyrics add to the motif as well, but for some reason, they're only segments of the lyrics written, instead of the whole songs, with only 'What Man Creates' having full lyrics available online. Why they did this, I have no idea.

'Scars are still sexy' a complete inverse of its weaker predecessor, is 6 minutes of pure longing for damage and comes of as oddly romantic, along with the thunderous, operatic structure of the song, with a near spoken word part given to guest vocalist, Nihil of Furia, and he delivers a beautiful performance.

This album is colder than cold itself, dedicating itself to nothing, If the band were to disband after this album, I would hold nothing against them, delivering this poetic finale to their reign of industrial black terror, and anything else lesser, would be criminal.