Command To Charge
Suidakra - Command To Charge 2005 Armageddon Records
01 Decibel Dance
02 C14_Measured By Infinity
03 Haughs Of Cromdale
04 The Alliance
05 A Runic Rhyme
06 Second Skin
07 Reap The Storm
08 Gathered In Fear
09 A Strange Perfection
10 Dead Man's Reel
11 The End Beyond Me
Just when I think I am on top of my game, just when it seems that I am in complete command of all things metal, a walking encyclopedia filled to the brink with album titles, band members, track listings, and those strange mascot names that only cult fans seem to know. Well welcome to reality Mr. EC, ten years, six album releases, and over 125 live gigs and I have still never even heard the word Suidakra. How did this band slip past me?
"Command To Charge" is the order given courtesy of Armageddon Records, a label who has really stepped up with quality releases by Metalium, Seventh One, and now Suidakra. The German act follows up their Century Media release "Signs For The Fallen" with "Command To Charge", a record that the press geeks are calling Suidakra's best. Being completely out of the loop I have nothing to compare this new release to. I will say that this is a splendid death metal affair filled with smart songwriting, solid riffs, and an unbelievable use of melody and clean vocals. Really this is an odd album to me, sounding a bit like the type of stuff that was released in the mid to late 90s. You know, those melodic death acts that couldn't quite put their hands on true metal or the extreme stuff. Bands like Amorphis, Sentenced, Sarnath, Cry Havoc, and Pyogenesis. Of those I really think Suidakra's sound is very close to that of Pyogenesis, especially their "Sweet X-Rated Nothings" and "Twinaleblood" releases.
This band really makes their mark with the ability to jam it up in a death rock fashion. Plenty of big hooks, mid-tempo speed riffing, sing along style chorus parts, and a bit of atmosphere are the traits easily found here. What really makes it memorable is how each track really has it's own identity. At times the album doesn't flow that well, but that really isn't the idea. This album is really made up of different parts, so why not make each song sound like a different "chapter", a new spin each time with a different approach and delivery, but at the same time keeping a solid backbone that fits this particular genre. The album never seems to drift too far away from the central core, that is to create memorable, catchy death metal that fits a lot of different nuggets inside. Again, the only band I can really compare it to is Pyogenesis, with a bit of Gorefest floating in from time to time.
Groovy opener "Decibel Dance" really sets into motion the overall vibe here, with some downtuned, thick stomp riffs and the combination of gruff vocals and more clean singing. This is done through two vocalists, Arkadius (aggressive) and Mathias (clean), with both of them stepping into the guitarist slot as well. This combination is really the highlight for me, with that back and forth pattern really working well in this case. "C14-Measured By Infinity" works in much the same way, with some machine gun blasting doubles courtesy of skinsman Lars. The band really get into the grooves, laying down a Dominus styled mammoth riff throughout each cut. "The Alliance" works well as a power metal styled number, with some fast riffing and a more fantasy themed writing style here. Speaking of power metal, the band also throws in some bag-pipes here and there, bringing to mind Grave Digger's work on "Tunes Of War". Favorite spots for me is the bombastic wallshaker "Reap The Storm" and the powerful movement of "Strange Perfection".
This is really just a fabulous effort that completely caught me by surprise. I really didn't think the "intelligent" bands were still around but I was mistaken. Suidakra are a thinking man's band, filled with the ability and creativity to do something a little different with straight forward metal. That is really what seems to be missing with a lot of modern bands. Fans of Pyogenesis, Amorphis, Sentenced, Gorefest, Dominus, and even Benediction will find plenty to like with a "Command To Charge".
Album Cover - http://www.suidakra.com/images/ctc.jpg