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Absurd - Werewolfthron
Review: The hardcore punk album as reinterpreted through metal remains a Holy Grail for many bands, since the raw energy of punk coupled with the epic sensations of metal is artistic tritonal. Impaled Nazarene returned to their roots with "Latex Cult," and reintroduced the heritage of black metal from hardcore; the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles way back in 1985 achieved the last master fusion of metal and punk with "Dealing with It."
Werewolfthron takes a different approach by staying entirely within expected punk rhythm, less deadpan cadence than Discharge but a shade short of the exuberant bounce of The Exploited, and less neurotically rigidly rapid as Minor Threat tended to be. The verse riffs of this album are entirely classic punk and have zero pretensions about being otherwise, but the transitional riffing is straight out of Black Sabbath -- churning, world-reducing patterns that like the numerology of sigils symbolize epic moments in life. Choruses thunder down with a simplified metal power and an anticipatory dead-falling cadence that counterpoints the punk and erases some of its monochromatic drive. Interludes of bagpipe drone and indie-rock sensible minor key instrumental ballads heighten rather than dilute atmosphere.
Although this album is not as devoutly bizarre and symbolic as earlier Absurd it retains much of that power and channels it from a divisive compromise between genres into a fusion that builds consensus through what these genres have in common at their best: a desire to remove themselves from modern society without falling into maudlin duty of resistance or tedious self-pity, channeling the insurgent energy of the original punk hardcore toward a sense of self-sufficiency and potential for change in the context of metal's broader view than the individualistic politics that dragged down hardcore and later black metal. While after this album, Absurd's output fades to a uniform grey and ranting dogmatic obedience, this swansong for their classic era is an undiscovered classic amidst controversy, legal actions, political divisions and other fracas of the dying Western empires.