Krabathor - _Orthodox_
(Morbid, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (8.5 out of 10)
Now this -is- pleasing. I have been trying to pick up a Krabathor album for a while, having heard many a rumour of the quality of their music. On first listen I was very pleased with _Orthodox_, and that opinion didn't change too much upon repeated spins of the disk. First and foremost, Krabathor have a damn fine sound. Raw but clear, the guitars bite and the drums smash with precision and force. The vocals are also well performed and come out well in the mix. Krabathor do owe quite a bit to Malevolent Creation and others of their classic kind, but they play out in style without sounding generic and don't fall into the "where have I heard that riff?" trap. The opening title track is a particularly vicious assault and one of the best tracks on the album, not least for its catchy-yet-intensely-brutal chorus: a rare thing in death metal. Though much of their music consists of the traditional mix of low tuned riffs, mean kick drums and precise blast beats, Krabathor also often manipulate a groove the quality of which is not seen every day in death metal. It is this infectious "death-groove" which Krabathor use to pull themselves above the level of the merely ordinary. What helps them is their lyrics. This is not a band who sit down to write standard death metal lyrics. Krabathor's lyrics come from their hearts and address issues which are close to the same. Whatever your political opinions, Krabathor make no bones about giving you theirs. A great example is "To Red Ones": "Communist, community of red Hitlers / Get out of my way! / Your chance is lost, you are less than dust / You're living corpses / That's my revenge, don't ask for human rights / We don't need you! / You wished us hell, that's what I wish you / Twice". Despite some failings in their English, which is not surprising for a band from the Czech Republic, Krabathor convey their feelings about real issues very effectively. It also helps that I agree with a lot of their complaints. All in all, a great fourth album for a band whose talents have so often gone unnoticed on an international level; I hope that this changes that, 'cause it certainly deserves to.

(article published 1/9/1998)

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