Allfader - Black Blood Flux
Osmose Productions
Melodic Death/Black Metal
8 songs (50:32)
Release year: 2011
Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat

A faint bell was ringing in my head the moment I saw this promo. Allfader... weren’t they that band from... somewhere that released that album...? They have the sort of name that sounds very familiar, yet on research it appears that whichever band Allfader reminded me of, it’s not actually them themselves. Black Blood Flux is but the Norwegian four-piece’s second full-length, the first being 2006’s At Least We Will Die together, featuring perhaps the most emo piece of cover art ever from the whole of Osmose’s roster. The cover art this time, a pile of corpses under a blood-red sky, fits the music better – it’s still somewhat surprising to hear how vicious and violent the form of melodic black/death on show here is.

Avoiding the usual Behemothic approach of death/black in favour of something deeper, darker, and notably more Norwegian, Allfader are something like Blood Red Throne and Marduk jamming Amon Amarth covers. Opener Harbingers Of Night marries catchy groove with chugging post-Carcass snarls and nicely melodic guitar leads, even indulging in a calm, nearly post-metal interlude that leads to a glorious moment of anthemic fist-pounding. Yes, these guys are good, if you haven’t figured it out by now, and they keep the level of quality up throughout. Despite the most well-known member being drummer Cato, once of Gaia Epicus, they have a high level of instrumental skill that comes through clearly. Take Son Of Nore as an example, opening with clattering black metal blasts and flowing naturally into slower-paced yet equally enjoyable pagan aural warfare. Titan’s March’s forays into almost post-black progginess is another example, a band playing music they clearly love and doing it damn well.

Here comes the criticism – some tracks are a little too similar to Amon Amarth, Draconian Command especially could have tried harder to skip out from under their Viking skirts. But this is how Amon Amarth should sound, truly fanged and dangeous, taking as much from the Bathory playbook as the Soilwork one. Besides, by the time you get to the truly excellent Torn From Flesh (which strips melodeath down to the bone and re-invents it as a majestic riff-driven piledriver) your neck will be giving you the sort of repetitive strain injury that you normally associate with tech death bands. However sick to death of the slightly easy-to-grow-bored-of Swedish phenomenon that is Amon Amarth you are, you’re sure to get some enjoyment out of this. No-one could listen to the two-part title track and not come away seriously impressed as Allfader finish the album with a bang, slow, stately glory on the first part and prog-tinged brutality melded wonderfully with the black metal influences. Allfader have made a good album here, heavy, riff-driven, and with an ear for songwriting, establishing a formula that I can only see improving on future releases.

Killing Songs :
Harbingers Of Night, Son Of Nore, Torn From Flesh, Black Blood Flux pt II
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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