#1


Seeing how he who shall not be named name *cough* duncang *cough* has failed us all, I decided to step up and write a quick review for this still yet to be named doomed creation of an idea and let me tell you, you’re in for a treat. As you’re all aware, the Czech Republic is notorious for producing some of the most bizarre yet talented extreme metal acts to date. Root, Master’s Hammer, !T.O.O.H.!, Assesor, all staying within the spectrum of some form of extreme metal but unorthodox, the black sheep amongst their peers. Why is this you ask? Beats me, I guess it’s something in the water, but nevertheless Krabathor is no exception.

Founded in 1984 in Uherske Hradiste (say that three times fast), the band went through several name changes before settling with Krabathor in 1991. The band was active up until just past the new millennium and has a handful of material but the only real worthwhile release they ever put out was Cool Mortification. Released in 1993 was Krabathor’s sophomore album and a hell of album it was/is.

Cool Mortification is a death metal record, a quite eclectic record at that, though it’s not over-the-top in its peculiarity. It’s unique and has a charm about it without the often associated negatives of being quirky and awkward. Let’s take the first track, “Faces under the Ice”, for starters as it really sets the mood and pace for the rest of the album. It kicks off with a heavily thrash influenced, mid-paced, tremolo picked palm muted riff after a quick tom roll drum fill (also in true thrash fashion). These types of thrash influenced death metal riffs will be revisited again and again throughout the album. Next it goes into a more serpentine, straight up death metal riff à la Morbid Angel, pinch harmonics and all before coming to the first verse. Christopher’s vocals are good albeit a bit standard death metal growls minus the slight accent. Nothing particularly special but they work and help drive the music forward. Eventually the chorus ascends from the depths of Hell and showcases yet another side of the band, a more atmospheric, brooding side with some alien but non-cheesy synthesizers included.

That pretty much sums this entire album up. They seem to operate in three different modes, thrash, death, and atmospheric though that’s oversimplifying. Nothing seems forced in the slightest and they effortlessly transition from one section to the next, always purposefully drudging along at that mid-tempo pace, constantly building but rarely relieving tension, the atmospheric sections only amplifying the brooding, oppressive atmosphere. There are also a few clean sections here and there and some technically proficient solos, all good stuff. These guys don’t sound like a fusion of anything but rather simply a unique sound. I don’t know any band that sounds like them hence my comparison to their Czech companions.

This album exemplifies a band mentality of putting songwriting above all else. Instrumental proficiency without being overly technical or flashy, no individual taking the spotlight, everyone knows their part and they play it well. Also, to add to that, all the songs are extremely consistent, I couldn’t point out any standout tracks as they are all so solid. Just listen to the album!

Though I’m hard pressed to find flaws, I feel as though a beefier, rawer production would’ve suited this album better as it would accent the brooding atmosphere I keep referring to. The production is by no means bad; in fact it is a good production with a clear mix, just sayin’… Also, the lyrics aren’t great and the vocals are lackluster as previously stated. Also, they do an industrial metal styled remix of "Absence of Life" as a bonus track which is total garbage though it is somewhat catchy. But that’s just me nitpicking trying to find issues. All in all, this album was overshadowed by its contemporaries. While it’s hard to find faults with this album and they presented a to this day unique sound, they were just out classed by the big names and became somewhat of a lost gem. Good album, definitely worth the occasional listen, add to your collection people.

Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Krabathor/Cool_Mortification/1052

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTkpzVIILUs&feature=related

October 7 - AnnihiSlateR
October 14 - Nihiliste
October 21 - VampireGoldfish
October 28 - illuminatiano
November 4 - severed-metal
November 11 - dillonrips7
November 18 - Chopped_In_Half
November 25 - MoogleRancha
December 2 - progbass
December 9 - duncang
Last edited by Born Headless at Sep 29, 2011,
#2
Damn the quality of these reviews has been pretty good. I'm not sure if I can do them justice

I also don't know what album to review, but fear not, I'll get one done.

The track you posted was pretty good, but I felt it took too long to really get going, but once it did it was pretty good.
#3


Sorry, Krabathor is the best name I've ever heard.

Great review as usual, I'll get my greasy fingers on it.
#4
Quote by AnnihiSlateR
Damn the quality of these reviews has been pretty good. I'm not sure if I can do them justice


I'm sure you'll do just fine.

Quote by AnnihiSlateR
I also don't know what album to review, but fear not, I'll get one done.


You better.

Quote by AnnihiSlateR
The track you posted was pretty good, but I felt it took too long to really get going, but once it did it was pretty good.


I disagree but that's kind of what I was talking about with the whole drudging along at mid-tempo thing constantly building tension. I think everything is slightly drawn out and slowed down just a bit but all purposefully. Their pacing is half of what creates the atmosphere. Even when they're at their thrashiest moments they retain that gloomy, oppressed feeling. Also, the slower pace opens up many doors for them musically and they can incorporate so many more rhythmic ideas.

Quote by severed-metal


Sorry, Krabathor is the best name I've ever heard.


My mind instantly went to South Park... Krab people, Krab people Krab people, walk like humans but they're Krab people...

Quote by severed-metal
Great review as usual, I'll get my greasy fingers on it.


Do it. Obviously YouTube doesn't do them justice nor does one song out of context. And like I said, they aren't the best of the best but it's an above average, solid record that got lost in time. It's worth just hearing their unique sound, probably one of my favorite gems uncovered.
Last edited by Born Headless at Sep 29, 2011,
#5
I haven't heard this record before, but this is a really, really good review man. Nice work!

I'll check out the record and post my thoughts later.
#6
Quote by Nihiliste
I haven't heard this record before, but this is a really, really good review man. Nice work!

I'll check out the record and post my thoughts later.


Thanks, I really enjoy writing them both for everyone else and also because it forces me to sit down and analyze a record and really think about what I'm hearing. I took the advice from the last one and avoided the track by track by review as well.
#7
Cool, never heard this one! All I have is Orthodox. For those unawares, Paul Speckmann moved to the Czech Republic to play with these guys for a few years.
Quote by Ultraussie
I want to try that while playing the opening riff to "Tempting Time".

0-0-0-13-0-0-0-0-13 or something like that alalalala but It;s so heavy and off time and awesome and you could not f**k anyone to it.


Quote by Ingested
burzum IS nazi. well, varg is.
#8
Quote by Stranglehold
Cool, never heard this one! All I have is Orthodox. For those unawares, Paul Speckmann moved to the Czech Republic to play with these guys for a few years.


Cool, didn't know that. Anyways, check it out, it's easily there best release.
Last edited by Born Headless at Oct 1, 2011,