"Artisans of Cruelty"

(Autopsy Kitchen)

01. With Hate
02. Teachings In Cruelty
03. Black Leather Mask (The Spear Headed Avenger)
04. Psychotic Erotic
05. The Error That You Are
06. Spike Swallower
07.Futuristic Sadistic
08. Premeditation
09. Chloroform
10. Thornscar Rebuttal

RATING: 7/10

A delightful romp through lo-fi U.S. black metal, heavy on the sadomasochism, misogyny and good old-fashioned violence. This is that bottom-of-the-trashcan stuff you either love or hate, with almost comically bad vocals and sub-basement production, but OCTAGON manage to be creepily compelling in their orgy of primal lust and murder.

Musically, OCTAGON capture the off-the-rails ludicrousness of old VENOM at times, but also evince a weirdly pretentious, melodic streak (see the last two minutes of "Psychotic Erotic") and a mastery of tempo changes that keeps things interesting. And really, "The Error That You Are" would be a standard verse-chorus-verse rock and roll song, if you hosed off all the dried puke and graveyard dirt.

The vocals aren't any worse than what you've heard on countless old-school BM releases, but they are pretty weak and silly sounding at times. It's also kinda hard to take these harrowing tales of S&M, murder and molestation too seriously, given their general air of eighth-grade Goth poetry (to say nothing of the Jack Skellington tattoo on the singer's arm). It's a nice change from the usual pseudo-satanic heap of mystical bullshit, but should be taken with just as much of a grain of salt.

Those aforementioned bits of primitive arrangement and churning, sometimes disturbingly off-key melody make OCTAGON a cut above most subterranean "tr00 kvlt" black metal out there. It'll all be academic to 99.99% of the world, of course, and that's as it should be — this is for an elite (read: nerdy) few to pick apart and enjoy for its deliberately sickened, mud-and-blood vibe.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).