COLONEL PETROV'S GOOD JUDGEMENT — Among Servants (review)

COLONEL PETROV'S GOOD JUDGEMENT — Among Servants album cover Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
tapfret
As an old metal fan who has experienced the great era's of metal's genesis with bands like Black Sabbath, the emergence of the NWOBHM, the speed metal and punk crossover scenes of the 1980's, then the rise of progressive metal in its various forms derived from those various scenes, it has been an absolute pleasure to experience the metamorphosis of the genre as the decades have passed. Unfortunately, metal has also experienced great expanses of stagnation and unapologetic mimicry. It has become increasingly difficult to find artists who seek there own creative space in the metal paradigm without wrapping themselves in redundant clichés. Fortunately, the diligent fan willing to dig through heaps of pretenders can occasionally stumble upon a creative gem like Köln, Germany's COLONEL PETROV'S GOOD JUDGEMENT. Their sophomore release Among Servants is a major step in creativity from their sludgy debut, Moral Machine. While undeniably metal, this album is highly experimental. A dark and dystopian blend of organized anarchy. The instrumentation comes to mind immediately in pushing the album's experimentalism with several well placed saxophone parts played by vocalist Leonhard Huhn. The second song, Resistor, for example, has a wild, rangy sax solo that breaks from the song's classic hardcore punk sounding intro. Sebastian Müller's guitar tones stray from the ubiquitous "djent" delivery that permeates a large portion of current metal output. He brings a tenacious bag of dirty influences from punky overdriven power chords to RIO-ish atonal chord structures to heavily reverbed psychedelia. The band's experimental machine is further driven by several rhythmic devices not frequently used in metal. The instrumental, Ascension, being the first piece that comes to mind with its drunkish slow-to-fast verses, textured by minimalist guitar and bass phrasing and eerie ambient saxophone reverb backgrounds. More delirium laced passages issue forth from songs like Bad Shepherd (which features vocals from Valborg and OWL's Christian Kolf), with its descending chromatic run emanating from a droning chant intro. Among Servants repeatedly shifts from the familiar to a seemingly endless pool of the unorthodox, unrepentant experimentation. The lyrical themes of the album are political and psycho/social in nature. This is an extremely strong album for those seeking something off the beaten path. Perhaps not a masterpiece, but well down the road to it. Among Servants is an album I will listen to for years to come. Hopefully COLONEL PETROV'S GOOD JUDGEMENT will continue the creative process in this manner.
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