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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.