Golem - _Dreamweaver_
(Nuclear Blast , 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (8 out of 10)
With a bio describing their brand of extremity as a fusion of classic Morbid Angel and Carcass -- subsequently lumping them alongside the vast majority of death metal acts these days -- I'll admit to being less than enthused at the prospect of listening to this German quartet's fourth effort. In reflection, my lack of curiosity may also have had something to do with the fact that I've never really paid much attention to the band at any point during their fifteen year existence -- a factor that ultimately turned out to be a blessing, because upon further investigation _Dreamweaver_ actually turned out to be a huge step up from all its predecessors.

While the allusions to Carcass and Morbid Angel do ring true on the majority of _Dreamweaver_'s 60-odd minute duration, it is the manner in which this blueprint has been incorporated that makes Golem an alluring and wholly interesting prospect. Think Trey Azagthoth and Bill Steer trading guitar riffs while sharing the world's worst acid trip and you start to get the picture. It isn't simply a case of skewed influences however, as songs like "The Tower", "Diaspora" and "Rose" toy with ideas centred around everything from black metal to neo-classical film soundtracks to progressive jazz.

Of course, as would most likely always have been the case, some of these ideas prove to be a little too avant-garde for their own good, and particularly the spaced-out guitar wankery of "Le Sacre du Printemps" ends up sounding more trying than entertaining. Kudos to Golem however for returning to the fray after five years with an album that shows off not only some damn good tunes, but the sort of daring songwriting that will sustain the death metal genre for years to come.

Contact: http://www.golem-metal.de

(article published 31/5/2004)


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