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The Wretched End
Released: 2010, Candlelight Records
Without trying to state the bleeding obvious, having to live up to the legacy of a genre-defining act like Emperor is not a particularly enviable task for anyone to be saddled with, and time spent apart has only served to underline that the partnership of Samoth and Ihsahn was one of the most perfectly symbiotic pairings of the past two decades. On one hand there's Ihsahn's permanent chubby for progressive rock - left unchecked it proved to be the undoing of his recent solo outing, AFTER. Meanwhile, Samoth's scowl betrays a very tangible love for breakneck death metal barbarism, which led to solid if unspectacular results in Zyklon. Yet lumped together these have proven to have just enough of a mutually tethering effect to create a magical middle-ground; divided they've lacked even remotely comparable impact.
Which brings us nicely to The Wretched End whose frenetic almost-melodic riffing instantly scream Samoth's name to the point where you'd wonder why he even bothered to drop the Zyklon moniker. Of course, he DOES have an entirely complete set of talents at his disposal and it's particularly the breathless snarl of Mindgrinder's Cosmo that lends a trash-tastic strain to OMINOUS. Similarly drummer Nils Fjellström, formerly Dominator of Dark Funeral, gives a strong account of himself behind the skins as he drives forward the socially-conscious diatribes of "Last Judgement" and "The Juggernaut Theory". At first, second and third glance every piece of the puzzle appears perfectly positioned to guarantee a masterclass in modern heaviness.
And yet, you can't escape the fact that something is missing. There's a lack of surprise certainly; as mentioned before, the untrained ear couldn't be held accountable for mistaking this for another Zyklon album. And like any of that band's efforts (save arguably for their debut) there's a distinct lack of depth too. It's an entertaining romp for sure, but don't count on it still being a mainstay on your playlist after a month.
2.Red Forest Alienation
5.Of Men And Wolves
7.With Ravenous Hunger
10.Residing In Limbo
11.The Juggernaut Theory
12.Zoo Human Syndrome
Samoth - Guitar
Cosmo - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Nils Fjellström - Drums
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