Joey Jordison’s heavy metal return from the wilderness

This band is a project assembled by Dragonforce bassist Frederic Leclercq, making use of his mates in far more extreme bands, a who’s who of extreme metal, including Joey Jordison on drums and Attila Csihar (Mayhem) sharing vocals with Sean Zatorsky (Dååth)

The album opens with a haunting intro, helping to build the sense of anticipation in what the assembled super group will sound like. Opening track proper ‘Splendor and Agony’ opens with a very clean guitar tone, and Joey drumming like his life depends on it. And it is great to hear in the light of recent news that the biggest reason he disappeared was due to a health condition that affected his legs and spine.

This song is followed by another filler ‘intro’ style track, again sounding very Gothic and haunting, into ‘Inverted Cross’, a great, very traditional style death metal track. It’s a cool listen; brilliant guitar solos are everywhere to be heard, the two guitarists’ interplay is fantastic and the black/death metal sound is very well put together. Most of the music is written by Leclercq, a fact I think that helps with the music being so cohesive instead of a mish-mash of everyone in the band having an influence. Sometimes however the two vocalists sound so much alike it is hard to tell apart. I find that frustrating, as I enjoy Attila’s style.

The only real downside is the stop-start nature of the album due to every song having a short instrumental intro. It really slows the pace and makes it feel over-long.

1.    Materialization
2.    Splendor and Agony
3.    Excommunicare
4.    Inverted Cross
5.    March
6.    Army of Chaos
7.    Redemption
8.    Dead Souls
9.    Lullaby
10. Final Curse
11. Condemned to Suffer
12. Ritual
13. Sacrifice
14. Damnation
15. Forgotten One
16. Torment
17. Anfang des Albtraumes
18. Mist
19. Echoes of the Tortured
20. Emptiness
21. Gods of Hell