Sunday, July 30, 2023

Full Length Review: Misanthropik Torment "Declaration of War" (SelfMadeRecords L.L.C, Earache Digital Distribution) by Dave Wolff

Band: Misanthropik Torment
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Country: USA
Genre: Blackened death metal
Full Length: Declaration of War
Format: Digital album
Label: SelfMadeRecords L.L.C, Earache Digital Distribution
Release date: August 28, 2023
If you have been following Misanthropik Torment, you are aware they don't mince words when it comes to speaking out about the state of the world. Otherwise, you will need to refer to past reviews of their work as a guide. However, be forewarned that even the most hardened death or extreme metal fan may find their new full length rather difficult to consume. “Declaration of War” comes from a deeper place in the soul that the heaviest bands haven’t quite reached.
As we all know, the world has been changing, and not always in the way that the status quo would like. In the wake of independent media gaining traction in popular entertainment, a lot has been shaken up lately. You can see it from “The Walking Dead” becoming one of the most popular shows on TV to the legalization of marijuana to Donald Trump's highly publicized legal problems. Issues of fake news and woke mentality aside, independent news in particular is reaching more readers with stories you wouldn’t have heard before.
It is clear Misanthropik Torment has been a part of these changes since 2018, and with the release of their socio-politically charged new album “Declaration of War”, their views have not grown less but rather more extreme and passionate. Even the title of the album is enough to convince you of the position they’re taking on society, and this excessive method of expressing themselves is necessary regardless of how offensive you may find the lyrics. In the words of Suicidal Tendencies, “maybe you need to be offended”.
There was a similar need for artists like GG Allin and songs like “Cop Killer” in the 90s. Since rock and roll began, there’s always been one performer who became the catalyst for change. Although it remains to be seen whether Erik Leviathan will eventually generate these same changes, one only needs to listen to this album once in order to realize how much of a fire they’re lighting under you.
I could simply write this review with fluff, but there is something much deeper going on here. It’s on "Declaration of War" you’ll find highly intense punk activism (imagine Nausea, Amebix and Iconicide) coupled with some of the most brutal death/black/doom metal crossover they’ve brought since their beginning. The third characteristic that immediately caught my attention was its high production quality. From the outset you can see a great deal of care has been taken to produce it so that it is crushingly heavy, full of depth and acuity, and with clarity between the instruments and vocals.
"Declaration of War" is just that, a call on the band’s part abolish the system as it currently stands, and generate an overhaul of how society functions. They make no attempt to say what the “right” way is, but it’s clear what should be changed. With a stronger drive than ever to get the message across, appears to be almost too much even for underground consumption. It seems the relentlessly caustic music and unrestrained vocals is intended to impress upon you just how fucked up things are in this modern era. It appears these arguments must be stated repeatedly in order to convey said message.
Various between-song samples give this the feeling of a political condemnation of media, religion, and government translated to extreme music. Like I said an album alone is insufficient to topple a government, but we’re talking about the presentation of ideas and the encouragement of critical thinking. "Declaration of War" is an album you should give a shit about if you’re capable of handling the magnitude of its message and its soundtrack. Its official release on all social media platforms is next month, but it’s currently available for streaming at Bandcamp and Youtube. –Dave Wolff

Erik Leviathan: Vocals, lyrics
Jonathan Nesbitt: All instruments

Track list:
1. Rebel Against The Establishment Power Belongs To The People
2. Declaration Of War
3. Feed The Machine
4. Total Rejection Of Gods/Governments
5. Political Pedophiles
6. Land of the free, Home of the slaves
7. I Will Kill Again
8. Boots of Mass Destruction
9. Embrace The Hatred
10. Take My Eyes
11. Misdirected Lambs

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