Friday, December 21, 2012

Old Man's Child

Old Man's Child - In Defiance of Existence
Century Media Records, 2003
Genre: Black Metal

1. Felonies of the Christian Art
2. Agony of Fallen Grace
3. Black Seeds on Virgin Soil
4. In Defiance of Existence
5. Sacrifices of Vengeance
6. The Soul Receiver
7. In Quest of Enigmatic Dreams
8. The Underworld Domains
9. Life Deprived

When I first heard there was a new Old Man’s Child coming out I had really high hopes that it would be another masterpiece despite the flop “Revelation 666.”  I don’t know why I would expect another “Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion,” but suffice to say “In Defiance of Existence” has not let me down in the sense that it is much better than “Revelation 666”, but it is certainly not as strong as the earlier masterpieces.  I feel like this album sort of blends ideas from “Pagan Prosperity” with “Revelation 666”.

The first two tracks seem to be heavily influenced by Dimmu Borgir with their heavily laden slow moving synths, which mirror “Puritanical Euphoric Mysanthropia.”  More than likely this is influenced by the fact that Galder is now in Dimmu Borgir.  Honestly I was quite disappointed in this form of keyboard arrangements because I was hoping for the more intensely technical piano pieces found on “Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion.”  As of yet I see the keyboards as simply one of the only flaws on the album.  However, the guitar and drum work doesn’t really match up with Dimmu Borgir that much.   Galder, as usual, has greatly managed to out compose Dimmu Borgir once again, by a long shot.  His superior guitar skill and inherently brilliant songwriting, no doubt is what makes this possible.  If Dimmu Borgir sounded this good and was this creative I’d probably listen to them a lot more. 

Following these two songs of fairly decent Black Metal, but still saying, “I think I’d like something a little better.”  The album explodes into a heavy dosage of Old Man’s Child through and through.  “Black Seeds on Virgin Soil” starts off with a brilliant acoustic intro, which brings me back to the classic days of “In the Shades of Life.”  The song then progresses into intense metal with high tech musicianship.  I’ll admit that when I first heard Nick Barker was going to drum on this album I thought he was going to be hard pressed to keep up with Galder’s technical playing and insane speed.  In short I sit here simply astounded.  When I heard Nick’s phenomenal performance, I couldn’t believe my ears.  This is by far the most technical and intense drum work I’ve ever heard from him.  He’s managing to keep up with drum gods like Trym and Frost, which is simply mind-boggling to me.  Not only has he become faster and more technical, but also he stands on his own as extremely creative adding a completely extra dimension to Old Man’s Child’s music as a whole.  Not a lot of drummers manage to do this, and I really think he held back some of his skill on Dimmu Borgir’s “Puritanical Euphoric Mysanthropia.”  I honestly can’t say enough about how impressed I am at Nick’s incredible improvement as a drummer.  On a more technical note: The trigger sample Nick chose for this album is much clearer and realistic than the sample he decided to use on the Dimmu Borgir album.  I think he’s really started to push the limits on his DDrum brain and he even got a clearer bass drum tone out of it than Thorns’ Hellhammer.  (Featured on the self titled Thorns album.)

The rest of the album finishes off with that great Black/Death/Thrash style that permeates from “Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion.”  However, the vocal performance seems to be a little over processed for my taste, because that guttural tone that Galder naturally has isn’t as present on the album.  Either that or he just sang lower than normal and that held back his classic tone that I loved so much.  Galder manages to keep a fairly constant theme song wise, but each song has its own special difference.  There’s even an all-acoustic instrumental track that brings me back to the days of “Born of the Flickering.”  However, to my dismay the track is only around a minute long.  Nothing as close to the impressive “Wounds from the Night of Magic.”  As usual Old Man’s Child uses the latest in recording technology and the sound is absolutely flawless.  After that it launches into “The Underworld Domains”, which could have been right off of “The Pagan Prosperity”!

In summation this album was extremely well done and more akin to what we’d expect from Galder.  However, there are a few minor flaws, whereas I think there were some parts that were a little too influenced by Dimmu Borgir and I think creatively Galder could have done better.  Barring these minor flaws, this album is a huge step from “Revelation 666.”  Basically this album is a combination of all the previous Old Man’s Child albums and Dimmu Borgir’s “Spiritual Black Dimensions” times ten.

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