The Switch To Turn Off Mankind
Vendlus Records 2007
Finally, after a tragedy filled wait that nearly put me into a coma from all the stress, we finally get the new and devastating album from Norway's resident thrash kings, Audiopain. The Switch To Turn Off Mankind finds Audiopain attaining a new creative peak with songs that are more dynamic and less dissonant in their presentation than those found on The Traumatizer. Opener Hellbound sets the tone for the rest of the album as it tears and stabs its way through frantic riffing, tortured vocals, and hectic drumming. Holy Toxic pounds along with its stop-start chorus and blistering main riff and is accentuated with a truly dissonant and sour sounding clean guitar lick. Termination Fields drives forward with a bouncy riff brings to mind the heyday of the early thrash scene yet it still feels modern. That proves to be one of Audiopain's greatest strengths which is to honor the elder thrash gods while at the same time sounding thoroughly modern. Alliance is quite possibly the best song these guys have ever written with its catchy yet dynamic main riff which accelerates the song along like a guided missile hurtling towards its unsuspecting and completely doomed target. The whole album is sort of a representation of trench warfare painted with the sounds of the rain, the mud, and the machinations of brutal warfare. The production is once again filthy and grimy as it should be. Sverre's unique vocals strain against the music shredding his vocal chords like a calf as it's pushed headfirst through a meat grinder. Once again I wish the bass guitar was a little higher in the mix. My only other problem with this album is it is too short at only 27 minutes in length. Audiopain to me the best modern thrash band out there today, bar none! And With the Switch to Turn off Mankind they have proven this point and at the same time upped the ante for all their peers. This is precisely why they are the leader of the pack and all the rest merely follow meekly behind in their wake.