August 28, 2007 | , | 3.5

In Battle, Kingdom of Fear

I don’t think that I could sum up the feeling of this album any simpler than pointing out the band’s name. Kingdom of Fear has the chaotic, skull pummeling, adrenaline pumping feel of the heat of battle. Manic death metal screams, furious riffs and maniacal drumming all combine on In Battle’s fourth studio release (their first with Candlelight Records) — with a touch of black metal thrown in there for good measure.

Odhinn Sandin’s vocals are beyond aggressive, leaving the listener shaking in their boots as urine puddles around their feet. There’s just that right amount of evil and hate in his delivery that gives the impression that he really means what he’s saying. Hasse Carlsson and Tomas Elofsson bring thrashing riffs and precision solos like that of laser guided missiles. John Frölen on bass and Nils Fjellström on drums provide the energetic and lively pace for the album. Fjellström’s drumming is beyond impressive and pretty damned creative considering this relatively straightforward style of music.

Kingdom of Fear
A brief series of sound effects open up the disc, leading into big riffs and and calculated drumming before all hell breaks loose 45 seconds into the track. Gatling gun drumming and nasty riffing join Sandin’s delivery. There’s is one sick ass solo at about the 2:50 mark.

The Multitude
“The Multitude” starts off with timed blasts from the drums and nice guitar work. This one is a full throttle, battering attack on the listeners ears. There are a few breakdowns that are sure to rip a few neck tendons with their head banging groove.

The Wandering One
A few more seconds of distorted sound clips are present before some catchy drum work and addictive riffing. I like the more methodical pace to this one. Sandin’s vocals are unrelenting! There’s one hell of a solo on this one.

Follow the Allfather
Awesome growl to start this one off. More methodical and calculated drumming accompany thick riffs that bring images of post battle desolation.

Holy F*$#! Fast, insane drumming gets this one going quickly. There are some great riffs and hooks in “Tyr.” I love the groove/flow after the initial blitzkrieg subsides.

The Dead Shall See
This is quickly turning into one of my favorite releases of the year. Distorted siren-like sound effects introduce us to “The Dead Shall See.” Everyone in the band showcases their versatility on this track — crushing riffs, pounding drums and more.

The Curse
“The Curse” is a prime example of how this band performs every track with an unyielding ferocity — another technical and aggressive track.

I Kamp
There’s a nice head banging groove throughout this one powered by flowing riffs and drums. It’s a bit slower paced than the rest of the album, but no less effective — especially with the shredding solo.

I love this song’s opening riff. There’s more groove oriented destruction in “Terrorkings” that really shows just how versatile this band really is. After the sheer devastation of the previous tracks it’s nice to get a bit of a reprieve.

Path of Power
Apocalyptic riffs and hooks dominate another slower paced song. There are some great layered vocals present that we didn’t see in any of the other songs.

Raven Calls
The final track on In Battle’s Kingdom of Fear picks the pace back up to mid-battle feel. This one is hands down evil and devastating. The sound clips are a little cheesy, but a great way to end one hell of an album.

~ ~ ~

I’m actually really pissed at myself for not finding these guys until now. Their brand of thrash and black metal tinged death metal is just damned addictive. “Aggression”, “devastation” and “powerful” are just a few of the words that will be used to describe this album for years to come.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: