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The Greatest Death Metal Album Ever Released - 100%

Cunt_Crushing_Death, December 16th, 2004

Ha! How’s that for a Topic/Title. Now I’m fairly positive whichever monitor that looks on this will be shaking his/her head at the ostentatious jargon that I spill out over this review, but I stand by my opinion with EXCELLENT reason. If you really have trouble believing this, PLEASE go out and check this album for yourself. I am fairly certain that you’ll see what I’m talking about. Now I’m no "newbie" despite what my title states, and there is some tough competition for the title of the Greatest, "The Key" by Nocturnus for one, "War Master", "The Temple of Knowledge (Kataklysm Part III)", "Altars of Madness", "Like An Ever Flowing Stream", the list goes on forever. The brutality, songwriting, technical precision, etc. of this band on this album puts it over the top. Following are reasons why;

"Seasons" is the perfect blend of what keyboards, excellently executed tempo changes, and masterful arpeggios can do for a band. It starts off with a distorted little blip of a keyboard melody by Tim King, that he incorporates throughout parts of the song while he’s not playing the bass. It then lapses into a brutal up tempo riffage that transverse the scale with total precision and brutality mixed with periodical blast beats. All the while enforced by excellent drumming on the part of Schofield, and the low, raspy monotonous death growl of the talented King. At around 2:18 it breaks into my favorite section, a slowed pace mixed with lethargic blast beats topped off by the most PERFECTLY EXECUTED arpeggios you’ll ever witness. These flawless arpeggios aren’t a rare occurrence for Oppressor either, scaling the musical scale with perfect precision and unreal speed. At around 3:13 it comes back to a tainted keyboard solo with King's harsh vocals assaulting the ear drums, followed up by the brutal riffs displayed earlier. At around 4:22 the tempo picks up and a brilliant solo is executed by either Zadel or Stopper (not sure which), with a great mini harmony backed y the guitarist not hitting the solo and the constant brutality of Schofield on drums. Upon hitting 4:48 it gives us a 2 second riff up the scale completely and hits the arpeggios once more, again, with FLAWLESS execution. Nearing the end of the song, they incorporate stop/start tempo adjustments topping off what might very well be the best opener to any cd. Ever.

"Eclipse Into Eternity" starts off with a moderately paced keyboard melody by king hitting both normal and high scales. At 0:33 in the song it lapses into the usual instruments where you will hear the most brilliant guitar work imaginable, a low distorted scale bending half blast beat half melody moving into LIGHTNING FAST arpeggios that will drop your jaw. At 1:14 the tempo drops by half and a moderately paced brutally executed melody is dropped at your feet, backed by Kings raspy growls, the tempo accelerates and notes are held out in brutal fashion. At 1:54 the music stops for a second and lapses into a headbangers dream, absolutely fucking brutal faster-paced blast beats with a quick tempo change thrown in and Kings vocal's bashing you over the head. It then stops and picks back up with the melody from 1:14, and lapses back into the melody heard at 0:33 with the lightning arpeggios. What more could you ask for, let’s think, next comes the headbangers dream once again. Perfection in songwriting!!! The song picks up after the blast beats into quick up tempo note holds and stops abruptly.

"Devour the Soul" starts out with a curious low toned riff/slow paced arpeggio that picks up into a fill scale bending fast paced riff with some distortion thrown in for effect....the tempo slows once more and King comes in hitting hard as ever. 1:20 comes along and a mid paced scale transverse of the scale picks up into a faced paced, brilliant guitar solo that carries you right into a section of headbang inducing blast beats that change tempo each time through going from fast to mid paced to fast again. Almost achieving a thrash type riff. It lapses into the distorted mid paced scale bend again backed by a fucking brutally fast drum bludgeoning by Schofield that he executes so often throughout the album...again comes the slowed tempo with King belching out his form of brutality...this lapses into the riff/arpeggio we heard in the beginning of the song that after about 12 seconds hits right into the blast beats once more. The fast tempo riff with the distortion comes in once more and the song ends. Brilliant!

"And the Angels Fell (The Suffering)", my personal favorite track on this album, comes in with some scale transversals/mid paced riffs backed by unusually guttural vocals. This lapses into a slower paced riff that hits the low scales with ultimate brutality. You then hear a solo by one of the guitarist that carries you into one of the MOST PERFECT blast beat section you will hear, featuring fast paced blast beats that hit both low and high scale and meld into lighting fast quadruple arpeggios (yes, you heard me), QUADRUPLE ARPEGGIOS!!!!!! Holy fucking shit! They execute this feat perfectly, twice throughout the section of blast beats. There are 2 sections, so that's a total of 4 brilliantly perfect quadruple arpeggios. The song carries over into the mid paced tempo/riffage displayed once again, and ends on a brutal note Yet another gem.

"Prelude to Death" is a 1:19 keyboard instrumental that I basically count as part of the next song because it melds right into "Genocide".

"Genocide" is one of the greater works on this album. King really shines in this song, as well as Schofield. It starts off with a low scale thrash riff. Yep, a thrash riff. A Brilliantly written and executed one as well, that lapses into a slower paced melody that hits down low with some excellent shaky tremolos and up scale blast riffs. It then picks up into a distorted up tempo melody that hits the high scale. This lapses into a brilliant instrumental section by the guitar that is backed by eerily soft, yet screeching, keyboard drones by King, basically something you would expect from a black metal/gothic metal band. Next comes the excellent thrash riff with outstanding drumming shown by Schofield once again, and it lapses into a slower paced up and down melody with a refreshing little mini solo on guitar. On comes the tempo you heard near the beginning of the song (tremolos and up scale blast riffs). This progressively slows down and hits into an acoustic sounding guitar section that closes out the song. What can’t these guys do?

"Rotted Paradise" starts out with a low toned bass solo by King that lapses into a skull crushingly brutal blast beat section with a following thrash type riff. This ends and picks up into a low to high scale climbing brutal melody with King hammering out the vocals and arpeggios hit by the guitarists periodically. Yet the real impressive part about this section/song is the technically brutal precision Schofield puts into the drumming. This section ends and runs into very slow drone by one of the guitars that lapses into a section of mini arpeggios that lasts for about 45 seconds all the while being enforced by Schofield hammering away at the double bass drum kicks, and picks up into the blast beat section with the thrash type riff again. This once again lapsing back into the drone section with the mini arpeggios, which fades out as the song ends amidst a sound clip of howling wind. Very well done.

"As Blood Flows" starts out in a fast paced guitar with Schofield in a frenzy on the drums. It slows down into a brutal scale climbing/falling blast beat melody by the guitars enforced by King on vocals. At around 1:32 we hear the GREATEST thrash/blast riff that we could ever hope to hear and ever hope for at a live show (A Mosh Monkey's dream). This is followed up by drones with double arpeggios added for extra effect (these guys have no problem scaling the musical scale with speed and precision). It then lapses back into the faced paced guitar you hear at the beginning, followed up by a slow down pace with King droning his raspy growls on vocals that carries into the end of the song..

"Dying Inside" starts with a nice refreshing little drum section by Schofield that takes you right into some brutal guitar riffs that carry you up and down the scale with squeals and blast beats aplenty. All of these perfectly executed without flaunting their skills unnecessarily. The music stops for a split second and picks right back up into almost a march type rhythm on drums with a backing drone by the guitars and King belching out his style of vocal rasps in unison with Sheffield’s brutal drum hits. This takes us into a nicely done guitar solo that carries us back into the march style rhythm and droning melody. Then comes another tempo change (these guys execute a lot of them) which brings us to a mid paced riff that lapses into another excellent guitar solo, which results in ANOTHER tempo change that brings us back into the melody you get at the beginning of the song with the riffs/squeals/blast beats in perfect precise fashion. This then carries us into a fast paced section with King wailing away on vocals until the song abruptly stops/fades. A perfect ending to a perfect album!

2 Demo Tracks, "I Am Darkness" and "Valley of Thorns" featured on their next album "Agony" are also on the reissue, i wont get into them, though they are both excellent songs. I’ll save it for whenever, if ever I come around to reviewing "Agony" .

Overall this album is a MUST for any death metaller, as well as people not into death metal. The musicianship on this album is unrivaled, and this album shouldn't just be labeled "The Greatest Death Metal Album Ever Released" but should also be considered as one of the best overall albums ever released. Period! Just check it for yourself and see.