The Konsortium - _The Konsortium_
(Agonia Records, 2011)
by: Dan Lake (8 out of 10)
Anybody just so fucking over all the mopey, pasty, loner black metal a la Xasthur or Azrael? Yeah, me neither. Each swig of that nihilistic, bone-frosting brew transports me back to those bleak bouts of morbid self-hatred that threatened to drown my every cell in a poison flood of misery and shame. You know, Thursday. But, as Cartman's genius interorectogestion (crap out your mouth) experiment suggests, BM in the opposite direction can be just as enjoyable. The Konsortium, consisting of masked Norwegians with experience in such bands as Mayhem and Kvelertak, spew an aggressive, mechanistic brand of skull torture that never once mopes, and can only be considered loner in the sense that it will reliably snap every neck within earshot.

First to impress are the rock-your-nuts-off grooves achieved around every turn. They emanate from the drum set but develop muscular maturity in the company of roiling riffs and brilliant guitar solo executions. Next comes the realization that the most vivid comparisons available refer to nonconforming game-changers of the genre. The slower moments of "Decomposers" and "Tesla" bring to mind Thorns' more successful endeavors in virtue annihilation. The occasional dramatic choral declarations prove that not everyone reviles Anaal Nathrakh for their blend of clean and dirty. The Konsortium have hijacked all the familiar tropes for comprehensive genetic enhancement, amplifying their kill quotient and unleashing them in a manner that is undeniably stylish. Each of the album's eight songs smuggles enough flair into its violence to keep interest piqued and bodies flailing. The Konsortium is the kind of band that can make the pursuit of evil fun again.


(article published 22/8/2011)

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