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Tod & Teufel

FDA Rekotz (2014)
Rating: 7/10

Tod & Teufel is the third album from German extreme metallers Arroganz; a trio which formed in 2008 and ever since have been blasting our ears with death metal of the highest order.

For those not familiar with the band, it consists of vocalist / bassist –K–, and he’s joined by guitarist –P– and drummer –T–. So, as you can see by their band names, Arroganz are a rather mysterious bunch who takes their music very seriously.

Just like previous efforts Dark And Deathless (2011) and kaos.kult.kreation (2013) this new ten-track outing is one of such arrogance and sinister nature that it would take a very brave person to dismiss it… and I clearly am not that bold soul. Instead, I‘d rather praise such a bestial racket which begins with the ‘i.d.t.n.’ introduction before the turgid raps of ‘One Death’ ooze from the cavities and swallows us whole.

It’s classic, harsh death metal initially played with slow, solemn aplomb as the deep rooted riffs traipse along with doom-laden nastiness before we’re finally delivered a punishing blow of speed channelled through the driving drum which accompanies that substantial bass kick. And that’s pretty much it. Arroganz delivers two sorts of festering death metal; the first being that lingering, wicked sensation of slow motion gloom, the next, as in the case of ‘Arisen From Failure Perished As King’, choosing a vicious approach of trembling drums and that punitive vocal display. Even so, it’s reasonably catchy death metal with enough harrowing quality to make sure we won’t be sleeping well for a few nights.

The title track offers more barbaric speed. The frenzy of –K–’s rabid vocal approach is one which instils fear even into the coldest of hearts while the music just trudges on without mercy; occasionally injecting a hint of melody maybe in the bass trundle, rarely does it stray from its two main ingredients – the devastating doom-laden weight and then that ferocious speed.

Oddly though, such is the almost morbid yet blunt array of material on offer that it could be argued that Arroganz excel in creating almost boring death metal too. But this isn’t a gripe – the trio just isn’t interested in anything else except their abrasive death metal stance, where occasional twisted riffs (‘Demon’s Heart’) and groove-based melancholy (‘Black Aura’) make their way through the maze of murk.

I’m sure people will be asking me, “Is it old school death metal or modern by design?” Well, it’s neither really; Arroganz sort of exist in their own lifeless, colourless void where emotion is only expressed through slogging riffs and prompter segments of grey, no doubt made all the more precise by the utter professionalism of those involved. It’s almost as if the members haven’t got the time to think about what they actually are, but instead they just exist as a mammoth block of concrete that has just been lowered onto your head.

Neil Arnold

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