Adversarial - All Idols Fall Before the Hammer
Dark Descent Records
Death Metal
8 songs (36'48")
Release year: 2010
Official Label Bandcamp
Reviewed by Alex

I always held a naïve opinion that before the album is released, be it the landmark full-length on a major label or a self-released promo, the band itself has a final say over the sound and whether the music eventually sees the light of day. Canadians Adversarial either did not have a chance to hear All Idols Fall Before the Hammer, which would not be fair to them, or they don’t care, basically putting on the attitude, which is unfortunate, or think their sound is good, which is real sad.

The trouble with All Idols Fall Before the Hammer is that its drum sound obscures everything and makes the whole experience largely unlistenable. Whatever the genre, the listener is not supposed to make this inhumane effort to hear the rest of the music from underneath the overwhelming snare. In the case of Adversarial, the whole band has been taken hostage by that piece of skin stretched too tight over the drum box. Chaotic evil death metal with utterly guttural vocals, it is impossible to hear the guitar tone of the band with the snare being hit like a cowbell calling a neurotic herd to dinner, constantly above everything else in the mix and constantly in your face. I really tried to give this the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to hear the groove at the end of Thralls and penchant for making things speedy and nasty as in Thralls and the title track. In fact, the title track provides a slim hope that the guitars will mow down and overthrow the snare tyranny, but the song succumbs to it nevertheless, just like the monumental Ruin Enshrined, the ranting and deranged thrash of Scourge of a World Ablaze or the explosive Death.Rot.Monolith do as well. Whatever the song, the eventual thought always ends up being the same: “Somebody, please turn off this incessant cowbell!!”

The eerie and melodic intro to In a Night of Endless Pain, War Came to Flood Its Heart …, just like the whole of this instrumental shows what Adversarial is capable off. Snare hits are finally few and far between, so the band can hit its potential, and this composition is devoid of the vocals as well. As low as they are in the mix the voice contribution is practically meaningless anyway. The instrumental is just the pure dark, heavy, evil sounding death metal, Incantation style. Why there could not be more of this substance on All Idols Fall Before the Hammer? Maybe it was there after all, but nobody was given a chance to hear …

Killing Songs :
In a Night of Endless Pain, War Came to Flood Its Heart
Alex quoted 35 / 100
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