Kingdom of Fear
Nocturnal Art/Candlelight Records 2007
In Battle has pretty much completed their transformation from Black metal overlords to death metal tyrants with this their fourth full length album. Kingdom of Fear displays these Swedish masters at their tightest and most intricate performance in their long and storied career. Tons of brutal and calculated riffing greets the listener with salvo after salvo of ominous and devastating death metal. From the more mid-tempo steamroller of a song, Follow the Allfather which calls to mind some of the most slithering rhythms of Morbid Angel to the the much more boisterous and thrashier riff-fest of the nest song Tyr, In Battle has learned how to change up the structural integrity of their compositions to lend more individuality to each song. The production is as slick as humanly possible on this album, and brings each instrument tightly into focus as each song progresses towards its uncompromising climax. The drumming of Nils Fjellstrom is of note as it is exceptionally well executed and insane fills and timing patterns accentuate each passage of this composition. To illustrate this, just listen to the opening of the title track in which the riff never changes yet the drumming is a constantly coiling snake striking with precision and deadliness. Lyrically In Battle still seems content to cover topics of Nordic mythology despite the darker and more destructive musical direction than their black metal origins would have indicated. All of you who are hoping for a return to In Battle's roots you can put those pipe dreams to rest . But why would you want them to return? What they are now is so much better and Kingdom of Fear illustrates this point in ever facet of its existence. In Battle has risen even further into the realms of Death Metal's hierarchy since Soul Metamorphosis and the sky is the limit for these Heathen Lords!