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Intense - 90%

Mateilkrist, April 8th, 2012

It’s unbelievable that two of the musicians responsible for the creation of Zyklon’s second and third full-length snoozefests are also the songwriters behind this extreme metal gem. Superior Massacre is Myrkskog’s second full-length, and this time around the band manages to forge an immense slab of death metal that sounds quite unique when compared to the rest of Norway’s ever-expanding death metal scene. Originating as a pure black metal band, Myrkskog released an odd demo or two before 2000’s black/death/industrial-ish hybrid Deathmachine. While that album certainly had its moments, Superior Massacre is by far the band’s most memorable achievement and has kept fans anxious for a worthy successor since its release ten years ago. It’s quite a shame that Zyklon will forever be the band most commonly associated with Destructhor and Sectdamon, as this album (and honestly, Myrkskog in general) truly brutalizes and disposes of everything Zyklon has done post-World Ov Worms.

Production-wise, this album is MASSIVE. The drums are upfront and pummeling in the mix, which is by no means a bad thing. Guitars are quite low-end heavy and razor-sharp in modern death metal fashion, with every note and twisted harmonic shining through. I wish there was more to be said of the bass, but the only time it becomes audible is Gortheon’s merely seconds-long bass solo in Domain of the Superior. It’s typical faring these days for the bass to be inaudible in death metal, therefore I’d hope the listener doesn’t dwell on this and let it ruin the experience. Destructhor handles vocals as well as guitars here, and his growls and roars seem to be mixed with a dual-pitch effect similar to the vocals heard on Deathmachine and World Ov Worms. Anyone who dislikes vocal effects in their death metal (especially of this nature) probably won’t enjoy this aspect of the album very much. I personally think the vocals enhance the inhuman and almost mechanical atmosphere created on Superior Massacre, just as they did on the previously mentioned albums. An upside to the intense vocalizing is that it obscures and detracts from the broken English and sometimes juvenile lyrics, which are an easily-disregarded (though still present nonetheless) flaw to be heard.

Aside from the intro and outro tracks (both composed by Epilektrician, not even Myrkskog themselves), the songwriting presented here is top-notch death metal craftsmanship. Many tracks on Deathmachine were over-written and much longer than they needed to be in places, causing a sensation of being dragged through the album. Fortunately, Superior Massacre’s songs avoid this pitfall for the most part and rip away at an interesting pace the whole way through. Destructhor managed to craft some absolutely face-ripping and bizarre guitar riffs, all of which contribute to Superior Massacre’s monstrous atmosphere. Songwriting tends to harken back to the band’s black metal origins and influences in places, most notably in tracks Detain The Skin, Trapped In Torment, and Over The Gore. The fact that Myrkskog is able to mix these blackened aspects within a brutal death metal framework in order to create such a uniquely intense sound showcases a true songwriting talent, something which isn’t always guaranteed in many modern death metal bands of similar style. Every song seems to find a new way to sonically maim the listener, especially the main riffs in Domain of the Superior and Blood Ejactulation. When the band isn’t pummeling one’s eardrums with the intense blasting sections, they transition into murkier territories in a well-done fashion which gives certain songs a rather twisting and amorphous feel. Secthdamon does an incredible job behind the kit, blasting and grooving away like a battering machine. It’s unfortunate that most people associate him simply as the bassist/not-so-up-to-par vocalist replacement for Zyklon after Daemon left, because this man definitely has some notable drumming chops. Judging by the mild low-end rumbling present throughout the album, Gortheon seems like a competent bass player despite the unfortunate inaudibility.

As grand as Superior Massacre is, it would be great to see if Myrkskog can take the style they’ve demonstrated here and expand it to new heights on a third full-length album. Unfortunately, it appears this band has taken the unfortunate path of falling into obscurity with a status of being on-hold/split-up/who even knows. Perhaps someday Destructhor will get tired of riding the gravy train and making terrible pseudo-industrial “death metal” with Morbid Angel, and will once again long for the times when he wrote legitimate music like this as opposed to that trash. Until the day comes, we have the man’s back-catalogue to appreciate which features this monster of an album. Superior Massacre is mandatory listening for any blackened/modern death metal fan, as well as all listeners of Zyklon. It will superiorly massacre the opinion of anyone who thought Aeon and Disintigrate were the epitome of what these fellows are capable of.

Superior - 90%

hexen, December 12th, 2007

Myrkskog's second album further extrapolates the nihilistic confrontation created by their debut album – Deathmachine. While their debut was an invocation to brutality topped with ripping gore, Superior Massacre focuses on well crafted structuring based on a solid foundation of dogmatic; Nietzsche influenced intention integrated with the gore influence and highly dexterous musicianship of all the band members. This is a record you look forward to because of the amount of surprises you could find in a band which is exploring relatively unknown territory within its habit, Norway.

Thankfully, the studio production of this album isn't bassy and by no means overproduced, although the stringed instruments don't get as much recognition as the drums do, the guitars are poignant enough to create the havoc intended. Although the bass rarely protrudes anywhere on this, which is a severe downfall for a majority of death metal bands in general.

From the beginning of the album (excluding the disastrous intro, which is a weak attempt to level the music altogether) this piece of work detonates without warning from almost simple ideology in terms of riffing, but intricately manages to pull of astounding rhythmic – progressive developments akin to some important American Death Metal. It would be wrong to say this material is completely original and of innovative intent, for this is not so, but Myrkskog haven't burrowed anything completely recognizable from other bands, and this is pleasing.

Despite this, Myrkskog seemingly write songs by piling up a multitude of riffs together and try to assimilate them with extensive percussion/riffing textures, this weakens the potential of the songs at some points but at counterpoints, Myrkskog have perfected this technique better than more mainstream bands such as Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir. Soloing here is without doubt tedious because it's helpless compared to the music around it, although skilled, doesn't express the anger involved in this music. Once again Odd should be given the spotlight, but guitarist is without doubt an individual to be reckoned with.

Where it seems as though the band could no longer keep up the impressive syncopations and tremolo picking, they revert to groovier techniques still propelled by the simply amazing drumming of Odd. As layer and layer of pounding material is delivered through this album, Myrskog also suggest experimenting with music at less vicious speeds, but with more refined brutality and skill. This is applied articulately, as apparently these musicians aren't morons, but intelligent perfectionists who have gone into territory that few bands dare to explore due to the unexpected outcome of the music as a whole.

Highly recommended this album is, as these musicians continuously defy limits and aggression through hyper paced songs, completely aware were this music could head off into, a terrible array of technical riffs and lifeless death metal, but no such thing is reached throughout the whole of the album.

hyper aggression - 82%

odradek, June 18th, 2007

Although Myrkskog themselves hail from Norway, their sound is reminiscent of American style death metal bands like Hate Eternal or Origin. Songwriting is a strength of this band, as unexpected twists of direction abound, and the tempos remain consistently fast; their music never degenerates to Incantation-style sludgy sections.

The rhythm guitar work is impressive, and showcases a lot of deft technique. Destructhor's signature riff seems to be rapid alternation between tremolo picking the low strings and then some brief melody on the upper registers harmonized in some spooky minor interval. This technique seems to appear in some form in every song, but it generates harmonic tension quite effectively and gives the music a complex, off-balanced feel. The riffs morph rapidly throughout each song, and never tire. There are a few proper solos on the album, but a lot of the lead guitar work is whammy dive bombs and sound effects rather than any kind of melodic statement.

Sechtdaemon is a veritable drumming engine, delivering energetic fills layered over a rapid and relentless double bass thunder, but a little unclear in the mix sometimes. The vocals are a low growl with a bit of an artificially thickened sound. The lyrics are juvenile gore material and not worth dwelling on.

Superior Massacre opens with an intro track that sounds like the conjuring of a demon, with swirling noise and evil chanting. Eight intense tracks then burst forth one after another, with "Trapped In Torment" probably being my favorite, but none of them weak. The "Outro" track closes the album with an utterly pointless full minute of buzzing and feedback noises -- an unfortunate end to a frenetic adventure.

Fast and extreme! - 91%

ad, March 29th, 2005

Say whatever you want about Myrkskog, but you have to admit that the band is exceptionally talented. The speed and brutallity are listenable miles away from the scene of crime and Seacthdaemons blast beats are insane! Superb drumwork are the right words to describe this multi-talent. Beside his drumming, he plays bass/vocals in Zyklon and did the vocals in the black metal project Odium. In other words: a marvellous musician. The guitarist/vocalists pseudonym is Destructhor and that is an adjective which describes the music perfectly: destructive. The chaotic guitar riffs and the infernal voice of this technician are not mistakeable. Myrkskogs riffs are pretty technical and very fast, but at the same time undescribeable catchy. The only catch about the guitar work is the fact that the production is not very good. Not bad either, but just average and a bit boring. Average is also a word to use when I shall inform about the bands lyrics. Some of them are acceptable and even interesting, but some of them really suck, like the verse on "Utter human murder" that cointains words like: Redneck, looser and other not-belong-to metal-like words.
One monument of the album that surprises me is that the bands bassist is capable to follow the the crazy guitar work, even though he prefers to use his fingers instead of the easier way, a pick. In my opinion, Demariel is a extremely underrated bass-player and his talent really deserves to be enjoied for the common world.
Myrkskog are on their way to perfection, but a link is missing and the band need to improve a bit to get the attention they deserve. If you are into hyperfast, brutal blackened death metal with strange gore lyrics, you should contempletate buying this great record, if not... well, check it out.
Personal favourites and outstanding tracks: Domain of the superior, Bleeding wrists, Over the gore. (and maybe the eardamaging outro)

Slaughtering the Weak - 85%

NecrolordMessiah, June 17th, 2004

"Superior Massacre" is the sophmore effort from Norway's Myrkskog. The band contains members of Zyklon and Odium, two other Norwegian extreme metal outfits. This album finds Myrkskog sticking with what their good at: fast, brutal, and violent death metal. All of the instumentation is very tight and fluid, and its obvious that each of the members is very fluent at their instruments. The drumming is mind-numbingly fast during certain sections, and Desthructhor (Guitars, Vocals) has some crushing riffs throught the album. If theirs one qualm I have with the sound, its that the bass fades out of the mix sometimes during faster portions of the tracks. The vocals arent exactly thought provoking and deep lyrics, but then again that wouldnt fit the musical style that Myrkskog plays. Deep rattiling growls of death, torture, and untimely deaths are prevelant throughout the album. The intro and outro are rather odd electronic ambient/noise tracks with screeching and guttural screams in the background. Stand out tracks- Domain of the Superior, Over the Gore, Utter Human Murder.