Kadaverficker - Superkiller (A Musical Journey Between Life And Death) review
|Album:||Superkiller (A Musical Journey Between Life And Death)|
|Release date:||September 2023|
02. The Last Mask
03. Of The Sun And The Wind
04. Unethical Machines
05. All The Corpses Dance
06. Hot For A Dead Planet
07. Perennial Death
08. Darkness Drips From Her Like Honey
09. Waves Of Demise
10. Final Show
11. Lost In The Light
12. Death On Demand
13. Hail The Promiscuous Dead
14. 18 And Death
15. Not So Bad, But Bad
16. Pale Shadows
17. The Fan And The Bellows [The Chameleons cover]
18. New Corpse [Acid Bath cover]
19. Bad Taste [The Remnants cover]
20. Krom [Bathory cover]
21. Psycho Killer [Talking Heads cover]
Strap yourselves in for the surprise of the year! A 21-song Musical Journey across the entire metal spectrum awaits!
Wanna see a magic trick? Pick a genre, any genre. Now, place it back in the deck anywhere you like. Let's shuffle all these genres around…and…voila! Is this the genre you picked? Because that's what Kadaverficker are playing right now.
With the eloquent name Kadaverficker (German for "carcass fucker"), I went into this album expecting senseless, cave-man-brained goregrind. And, in fact, when looking at their past, it would seem that my expectations were largely warranted. Since their formation in 1993, the German band around versatile vocalist Olaf Langner (alias Goreminister) have racked up an extensive discography, including dozens of split releases and five full-length albums. While their previous records displayed very well executed yet rather straightforward goregrind, their fifth album—Superkiller—completely reinvents the band's musical approach, tackling an insane spectrum of sounds and styles ranging from black metal to punk rock and from gothic metal to death 'n' roll. With over 20 tracks featured on Superkiller, it would take way too long to describe all of them. Still, in order to give you an idea of the diversity demonstrated on this album, allow me to indulge a bit in listing the notable contrasts of certain songs.
Superkiller kicks off with clean, mournful singing akin to those accompanying gothic metal like Paradise Lost. The next song, "The Last Mask", takes a faster approach, introducing eerie black metal-influenced riffs and raspy vocals to complement the chorus of that clean, gothic singing. My confusion about the "grindcore" tag grows with every passing song, as "Of The Sun And The Wind" is far too melodic and upbeat for extreme metal. In fact, the raspy vocals and light-hearted musicianship is reminiscent of Sigh's Imaginary Sonicscape. So, what are we supposed to make of this combination? Do we call it "gothic blackened avant-garde grindcore"? But the diverse styles don't end there.
Even the more straightforward, rumbling death metal songs like "Unethical Machines" includes cleanly sung crowd chants and finishes off with an impressively menacing meloblack riff accompanied by tortured, high-pitched wails. In contrast, "Perennial Death" would be a proper black metal banger with its triumphant tremolo-picked riffs, if it weren't for the thunderous, indiscernible death doom growls.
Each song attempts (and succeeds!) at portraying a different mood, delivered via a fresh combination of genres that shouldn't work together… yet undeniably do. One thing that stays consistent throughout the tracklist is that most of the songs end in an especially memorable manner. For example, a grand, melodic guitar solo concludes "Hail The Promiscuous Dead", while the final minute of "Waves Of Demise" is dedicated to delicate, acoustic guitar playing. In the same vein, "Pale Shadows"—a song which largely resembles folk metal due to an elegant solo performed by a fiddle—finishes in the beautiful ambience of synth melodies.
Embracing various musical styles is one thing, but Kadaverficker also impress by crafting energetic and engaging songwriting. They know how to make fun songs, whether it's the catchy crust punk track "All The Corpses Dance", the groovy "Hot For A Dead Planet", or the blackened thrash piece "Not So Bad, But Bad". Especially "18 And Death" is a jovial sing-along anthem, which features a crushing breakdown and drum solo that only temporarily interrupt the flow.
Fans of their older material might initially be shocked by these new musical directions. But, even those listeners who only want the band's trademark chaotic, cacophonous death metal style won't be disappointed, as songs like "Final Show" and "Death On Demand" scratch that extreme metal itch.
Kadaverficker also recorded five cover songs for this album (although they aren't listed in the playlist of the band's official YouTube channel, the cover songs can be found by searching their titles on YouTube—or by clicking these links here). This series of cover songs reveals some of their influences, ranging from post-punk to sludge and Viking black metal. I'm usually quite sceptical of cover songs, especially if they are performed by death metal-adjacent bands, as growled pop songs make for a rather jarring experience. But Kadaverficker surprise me once more as they mostly stay true to the original style of each respective song, whether it's the pleasant female backing vocals on "Bad Taste" or the bouncy singing on "Psycho Killer". Kadaverficker are now also the only band that I recall seeing cover an Acid Bath song: in this case, "New Corpse". A daring endeavor, and, yet, even this they master! In a way, the title of that Acid Bath song mirrors Kadaverficker's evolution, as Superkiller marks the musical birth of a New Corpse(fucker)!
In conclusion, it's truly extraordinary how Kadaverficker manage to sound so comfortable no matter what genre they're playing. Not only do they have the capability to play wicked, lightning-fast grindcore; menacing, lumberous death metal; sombre gothic lamentations; evil, blackened crust; and fun punk rock anthems, but they also have the songwriting skills to make a thoroughly entertaining and addictive album, despite a total runtime of over 70 minutes. Pick a metal genre, any metal genre. Odds are Kadaverficker are playing it—and they're really damn good at it.
||Written on 01.10.2023 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.|
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