Released: 2006, Massacre Records
Switzerland’s Requiem is another in a long line of band’s to take up the moniker. This particular take on the name formed in 1997, releasing an EP in 2001 and its first full-length, FORMED AT BIRTH, in 2003. Three years since that debut Requiem are on Massacre Records and are releasing their second album, GOVERNMENT DENIES KNOWLEDGE.
Requiem play death metal, not necessarily in the old school vein but certainly not in the brutal modern style. This Swiss band has definitely taken notes from polish bands like Vader and Behemoth as to how to play the style. That very dirty, distorted, and slightly muddy guitar sound is ever present and the riffs oscillate from Morbid Angel/Vader circa REVELATIONS tremolo riffing to basic, bludgeoning to ultra fast blast beat sections. Vocalist Michi Kuster stays within a deep guttural voice for much of the album, not a whole lot of change or diversity within his voice but he doesn’t detract from the band’s sound whatsoever. The unfortunate problem with Requiem is that while they most certainly aren’t bad and have an easily identifiable and recognizable sound, the songs tend to be rather forgettable.
While listening to the album it’s easy to get into tracks like the vicious “Extinct by Evolution” (especially with the nice tempo variations), the militant “Inconsistent Consequences” (gotta love the way some of those riffs hit marching tempos), the thrashing “Signal Zero” (some strong thrash influences here and hey, the mid-paced opening’s no slouch), or the fun in “Setting the Score”, I have a hard time remembering anything distinct about the band when the album’s over. Believe me, I’ve listened to this album a good number of times and nothing has stuck. Certainly when I hear a song for the 10th time I remember it, but if you stuck the album in front of me and said, “What does ‘Bloodcult’ sound like?” I wouldn’t be able to tell you a damn thing. Is it because the band hasn’t reached their peak? Maybe, maybe the band has some work to do.
GOVERNMENT DENIES KNOWLEDGE isn’t a bad album; it’s just not a memorable album. It’s something you’ll buy, enjoy when you put it on, but probably won’t put the album in the stereo aside from that once a year when you finally see it and say, “Hey, I haven’t listen to this in a long time!”. Then you’ll think, “Wow, why haven’t I listened to this in so long?” and it’ll end up back on the shelf till next year.