Eastern Europe has been producing some awesome death metal bands recently. Starting with Vader and Imperator, then with such great outfits as Behemoth and Master's Hammer, they have won a very definitive spot on the worldwide metal map. Krabathor were one of the orginators of the genre in that region. Starting from as early as 1986, they have been spreading the virus of extreme metal decadence to the masses. Enter 1998: they have managed to release their best album ever.
Without any doubt, when it comes to playing solid death, Krabathor is the band to look out for. Three-full length albums and a number of demos and singles under their belt, this Czech bunch has once again proven themselves to be true champions of death metal the way it was supposed to be played. Orthodox, their fourth installment is nothing but a punishing slab of brutal and skillful extreme metal. Krabathor have developed a style of their own that cannot be mimicked or faked - unless you have a great deal of talent and intelligence like these guys obviously do.
What can be said about the album.... The title song appeared on their last year's mini-cd called "Mortal Memories". The other 8 songs are brand new. The main question is, did they actually manage to surpass "Lies" in brutality and plain overall excellence? Oh yes, of course. One of the great things about Krabathor is that they manage to pack each song with great guitar lines, combining shredding ultra-fast parts and traditional melodic licks a-la Iron Maiden even.
Essentially, Orthodox offers everything that Krabathor were always a synonym of: somewhat simplistic, yet surprisingly effective brutal death metal, with varied pace and occasional melodies that will remind you that NWOBHM is still very influential. They manage to create songs that just beat you to pulp within a 2 minute span like "Shit Comes Brown" and songs that are more like a continuous assault on senses that leaves you bloodied and horrified like the title song for example. Definitely a group of accomplished musicians, they are fully capable of completely entrancing the listener with their death metal savagery.
I guess that the greatest thing about a really good death metal album is that you never get tired of listening to it. It was the case with "The Bleeding" or "Clandestine" or "Altars of Madness" for that matter.... Orthodox continues a fine tradition of these ungodly releases. It's worth any amount of money you'd have to pay for it at your local shop or your favorite distribution, and it's definitely worth those usual complications that you can afflict upon yourself when caught shoplifting. Get this album today and praise the name of these Czech bastards that refused to give up their death metal art.