Evil, martial, brutal…
Bestowed unto the world by Godz Ov War Productions & Krucyator Productions on 22 April 2016 and faced by Jason “The Doomsayer” Guest
French industrial death drone outfit Autokrator’s 2015 eponymous debut (reviewed here) was a pulverising piece of work. I think it’s fair to say that it wanted to punish more than please its listeners. Just shy of a year later and Autokrator have returned, no doubt to finish off anyone that managed to survive the battery of their first album. With an album title and lyrical content that is as bleak, cold and merciless as the music, album number two is seriously ugly.
Opening with ten seconds of the sounds of suffering – water torture I suspect – it could be no better portent of what quickly unfurls. A barrage of drums, low end distorted riffs and a monstrous vocal explode and the world dissolves and something colossal and inhuman emerges from the fiery void. Two chapters in, the skies are smoke and the earth a scorched mass. The simultaneously dark and tranquil instrumental ambient ‘Chapter III’ provides some respite but is the calm before the storm begins again and ‘Chapter IV’ unleashes more of that industrial-strength brutality we are now becoming accustomed to from Autokrator.
‘Chapter V’ picks up the hammer of the previous track and is unremitting in its disturbingly detached depiction of indoctrination through violence. Like ‘Chapter III’, the ambient instrumental ‘Chapter VI’ bears a chilling calm, the echoing voice that resounds around its dark chambers subtly augmenting the awkward feeling that we are somehow being conditioned. And so with ‘Chapter VII’ and ‘Chapter VIII’ to close out the album, the punishment has now become tolerable, but only because we now see the world through the eyes of Autokrator. Where we were once afraid, now we are part of the machine.
The blend of drone and doom-like dirges with the cold, indifferent rhythms of industrial and harsh atmospherics comparable to that of black metal makes for a colossal and ominous experience. Intense, violent, and unnervingly calculated in its precision, like its predecessor, The Obedience of Authority is a chilling listen. In MR’s interview with Loïc.F last June, when asked what his goals for the next album would be, he replied, “more evil, more martial, more brutal”. Mission accomplished.
8 out of 10
- Chapter I
- Chapter II
- Chapter III
- Chapter IV
- Chapter V
- Chapter VI
- Chapter VII
- Chapter VIII