The Meads of Asphodel - _In the Name of God, Welcome to Planet Genocide_
(Firestorm Records, 2006)
by: James Montague (9.5 out of 10)
The Meads of Asphodel were my great musical discovery of the year 2006; over the past six months, I've lapped up every one of their albums, mini albums and demos, listening to them in a neverending rotation that other bands are lucky to get in on. You may say that variety is the spice of life and that I'm subsisting on raw cabbage by practically limiting myself to one group, but that would suggest you don't know The Meads of Asphodel. This group is surely the most eclectic and adventurous entity in today's black metal world, as likely to throw you an experimental techno curveball that wraps around your mind and warps it into submission as they are to hurl a straight-up punk attack square at your solar plexus. And they've got it right every goddamn time.

Whether _In the Name of God, Welcome to Planet Genocide_ -- their latest MCD and first release on Firestorm Records -- rates as their best effort, their worst or somewhere in between is largely irrelevant, so vastly ahead of the pack as this band is. What is undeniable is that in around twenty eight minutes (excluding the hidden track), you get a snapshot of the band's diverse talents in an extraordinarily energetic little package.

First up, the intro: a Meads specialty and an especially fine specimen. Quotes from such sources as Jack Handey, Adolf Hitler, George W Bush and Martin Luther King mingle together over a sweet soprano and a war-frenzied crowd in a way that can only be described as chilling yet enchanting. Next comes the title track; a classic, catchy rocker. Then a blistering black metal attack. Then something closer to pop rock with magnificent female vocals that are the final nail in the coffin of those retards who say "no girls, no keyboards" as though it's a seal of quality. This song turns to lead guitar histrionics, the next track is an orchestral segue, and then you get a simply awesome medley of cover songs by the British punk legends Discharge. Finally, a modern oriental-flavoured electronic piece closes out the musical numbers. After a long silence, vocalist Metatron comes back with a lengthy mock sermon that cites various bloodthirsty bible passages before running off into a personal rant. Hilarious and fucked up at the same time: only the British could get away with it.

Simply describing songs one at a time is a lazy reviewing strategy, and I apologize. The important part is this: despite the seemingly incongruous elements, they fit together perfectly due to the band's peerless knack for songwriting and arrangements. The songs positively melt into each other with not even a single pause for breath -- and believe me, you will be breathless. This shit is both catchy and visionary, classic and contemporary. I simply cannot comprehend anyone sitting down to _In the Name of God, Welcome to Planet Genocide_ and emerging the other side unchanged. Although such revolutionary musicians will not be to everyone's taste, you absolutely owe it to yourself to give The Meads of Asphodel a try.

Contact: http://www.themeadsofasphodel.com

(article published 4/20/2007)


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