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Brilliant. Utterly brilliant. - 90%

matt85210, January 13th, 2010

This album often makes it into my top five albums of all time when I am asked the question. For me at least, “Top Five” lists fluctuate and change almost daily, but this album always features. Why? Because, quite simply, within this CD lie pretty much every element of extreme music that I look for when listening to it. Groove, power, aggression, speed, transition, mood… this album ticks all the boxes. But if there is one main ingredient that this album possesses IN ABUNDANCE where any other album, good or bad, lacks in one way or another, it is this: that the album, throughout its entirety, is NEVER short of riffs. Its just riff after solid, catchy, heavy, groove-laden riff, and its so refreshing to hear this kind of approach to modern death metal when there are so many wank-fest, brutality-protesting idiots that populate the scene currently.

It kicks off with ‘Intro/Doctor X’, a smooth, well-oiled blast machine wrapped in layers of groove and speed. But Yyrkoon keep it interesting; the song is constantly writhing away from itself, as though trying with desperation to avoid returning to the previous riff, so much so that when the intro riff is re-introduced towards the end, it still feels new and punchy. Brilliant opener, and Yyrkoon get out of the starting blocks pretty damn quickly.

And they show no sign of slowing down as they crash headfirst into ‘Censored Project’, another absolute highlight. It starts off slow and dark, but still just as heavy as any other track on the album. What quickly becomes apparent is that the band are so rhythmically in tune with one another that its impossible not to be drawn into the music, something that is tangible at any given point in the album, from the opener, to the title track half way through, to ‘Surgical Distortion,’ to the final track ‘Erase the Past’. It’s because of this that special kudos has to be awarded to drummer Dirk Verbeuren. In a band so focused on rhythm and syncopation, nothing short of an outstanding percussive performance will do, and that is exactly what is delivered. Although clearly talented, the emphasis is never on showmanship but intensity and delivery, which comes in the form of uncompromising blasts and some outstanding footwork.

This is a phenomenal release. It’s a huge collection and showcase of all the best bits in this massive genre, mish-mashed together in this brilliant and dynamic testimony to good music from both a creative and an appreciative point of view. In short, if you like one dimensional, verse-chorus-verse-chorus money makers, don’t get this album. Buy the new Arch Enemy instead. However, if you have any sense of musicality about you, then this album deserves a place on your shelf.