Whovians may know that the album title for this monster is also the name of a Big Finish audio production of a Dr Who tale involving one of Sci-Fi’s best villains, The Master. There have been a lot of incarnations of this time travelling super genius throughout the years, but it’s the bloke who looks a lot like the chap from the front cover of 70’s puzzle board-game “Mastermind” that was my personal favourite, and what do you know? He’s also the chap featured on the album cover of this here record. The Dr Who connection isn’t so puzzling when you consider that this is one of the bands featuring Death Metal super-vocalist Dave Ingram, he of ex-Benediction, he of ex-Hail of Bullets (live) and so forth, and also the main host for the best heavy metal podcast on the whole of the internet, Metal Breakfast Radio. Here, he’s joined by the by now almost ubiquitous Rogga Johansson, continuing his quest to be a member of 50% or more of all metal bands, Kjetil Lynhaug (Paganizer) and Erik Bevenrud.
As the third album for this rather well motivated group, “…And You Will Obey Me” is a body of work that hears an outfit that is rather well in its stride and knows its identity. Those of you that are au fait with Dave’s podcast will not be surprised to know that none of the songs here are flong (an abbreviation for f******g long!), and you won’t find any extended introductions, flowery instrumentals or superfluous musical excursions. Nope. From the off, with the punchy and all-too groovy “Destroy the Infinite”, this is an album of no-frills straight ahead death metal with the same kind of grinding punk sensibility that fuelled Benediction, and is none the worse for it. As ever, Dave’s vocals are absolutely excellent, with their trademark deep bellow, but still being completely decipherable for those of us who actually care to hear what the vocalist has to say! The nerds among you will no doubt get a kick out of the few samples sprayed about the songs; hints of the Master giving one of his trademark arrogant speeches, among other Dr Who villainy! (I shan’t post any spoilers, but fans of the multi-faced Gallifreyan might get a kick out of some of the other samples.)
Even if Dr Who isn’t your bag, (and to be honest, I’m not a fan of any modern Dr Who – and by Modern, I mean post-Sylvester McCoy), the metal here is absolutely top quality. “Omega”, for instance, has an insistent, hardcore inspired main riff, played to absolute perfection with the rusty, grinding guitar tone and a basic but compelling rhythm section. It’s absolutely impossible to listen to it and not find your head nodding along, and in my case, a big cheesy grin to go with it. “Eye of Harmony” shows the band in a more melancholy mood, though the minor key meolodies never fray into lace hanky weeping nonsense, as the massive riff-slabs and absolutely pummelling bassline keeps everything completely metal.
There’s just no fat here to trim, and the ten tracks available whizz by in no time at all. It’s an absolute belter that demands repeated plays, with a magnificent crunchy and oh-so satisfying production that really hits it out of the park. It sits well and truly in the old school, but has the musicianship and more importantly the song-writing chops to sit proudly against anything else in any way “extreme” put out this year. In my humble opinion, it’s also the best musical endeavour that Mr Ingram has put his name to in some time. An excellent cut of good and honest extremity done the old way.
(9/10 Chris Davison)