Körgull the Exterminator - War of the Voivodes
Xtreem Music
11 songs (54:40)
Release year: 2010
Official Bandcamp, Xtreem Music
Reviewed by Charles
Something about the band name and album title suggests a certain influence. Körgull the Exterminator, for those who haven’t paid attention to early Voivod, is the name of the opening tune from that band’s second album Rrröööaaarrr, one of their most primitive works. And so it transpires that, as retro-thrash goes, War of the Voivodes is not so much polished Megadeth worship as a chaotic mass of livid, blazingly fast riffing conjuring the spirit of the early days of the visionary Canadians. It doesn’t quite do it justice to present it as a tribute to (or rip-off of) that sound, however: sometimes the ferocity of the onslaught is such that classically grim black metal bands such as Darkthrone seem equally as apt a comparison.

A fairer criticism could be that it’s initially energising formula does become samey after a while. Let’s take Axe Thrash Attack as a good example of what to expect here. A very dense and heavy thrash riff reminiscent of Dark Angel ignites and the furious blasting of the drumming gives it a feral, warlike demeanour. Lillith Necrobitch’s vocals (this is indeed female-fronted) croak, gurgle and hiss like a strangled Attila Csihar, giving this a pervading sense of wrongness, and an unstable atmostphere that gives it some character. It also stops it feeling too serious. But throughout the six minutes-plus song, there is no respite whatsoever from the pounding of the rhythm section artillery. And in fact, this is pretty much the drill throughout War of the Voivodes: even the Plasmatics cover is turned into a snarling blackened thrash tirade. Occasionally, the angular, addled jauntiness of early Voivod takes over, as with the punkish bass guitar that strides to the fore during Awaiting for Death’s Embrace. And their sci-fi exuberance is in evidence throughout the lovably raucous Sado Soldiers. Still, slightly monochromatic at almost an hour long.

Regardless this is a pretty good album. It features some quite ambitious, long songs, pulling them off well enough to make them highpoints. For Total Holocaust lasts almost seven minutes without going flaccid, largely thanks to some very neat lead guitar highlighting that is allowed to rise periodically to the surface of this bubbling, hostile sound. Eight-and-a-half minutes closer Kingdom of Darkness II is an unflinching rush through growling and blasting riffing which reaches harsh levels of intensity. We reach a muddy impasse halfway through as we wind down into a grimy mid tempo trudge, like the march before arriving in First World War no man’s land. When Necrobitch howls and we tear again into a gasping Darkthrone blast, this is about as grim as thrash gets.

Spain has been producing some great underground extreme metal of late (Teitanblood springs to mind) and whilst this isn’t quite in that league it is a worthy addition to the ranks. This is recommended for those craving old school brutality in their thrash.

Killing Songs :
For Total Darkness, Sado Soldiers, Awaiting for Death's Embrace
Charles quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Körgull the Exterminator that we have reviewed:
Körgull the Exterminator - Sharpen Your Spikes reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
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