Title: Fragment: Erhabenheit
Label: AOP Records
Release Date: 11 September 2020
Format reviewed: High-quality digital Recording
A few weeks back I was wholly caught off-guard when Austrian black metal quintet Theotoxin struck forth, fangs gleaming, spitting their religion destroying venom in the form of a third album “Fragment: Erhabenheit”. Originally, I hadn’t planned on reviewing this title but after one play-through I felt compelled to pen some words and help share this album with the underground metal community.
Theotoxin’s style of black metal is potent, intense, and hyper-aggressive, with a strong mid-1990’s feel. The themes are largely anti-religious, and akin to a true harmful toxin, they target and erode the structure and function of the victim’s system, which in this case is theological ideology.
“Fragment: Erhabenheit” contains seven energetic, riff-laden tracks and runs for a solid and satisfying 45 minutes. The album opens strong with “Golden Tomb”, and I was instantly impressed with the exquisite, cohesive musicianship, and crisp, clean production. All instruments are distinguishable in the mix and feel impactful, yet none of the high-quality elements of the production ever seem to detract from the overall raw aggression of the band.
Staggeringly, the album maintains the force and intensity from track one to track seven, so that by the closing of the album you feel like you’ve just been tossed about or pummeled by some kind of giant beast. Even when the pace does slow down as in track three, “The Prayer”, the riffs remain relentless and super heavy, while the momentum maintained by the drums is crushing. However, if pure, furious rage is what you enjoy then track four, “Through Hundreds of Years” is for you. It’s a seven and a half minute relentless wall of anger. The drums here flawlessly hold an impossible pace, supported by the lacerating guitars, all of which suitably frame the noxious vocals.
Vocalist, Ragnar is a genuine talent, providing a mix of deep, intimidating roaring as well as vicious, higher-pitched, visceral screaming. He fires lyrics like poisoned darts and his varying styles of delivery are key in fortifying the mood of each track, allowing the level of intensity to ebb and flow at his will.
My favourite track on the album is track five, “Philosopher”, which is brimming with brute energy, and catchy riffs. This is exactly the black metal that I hunger for: energetic, vile, vicious, unrelenting and delivered by truly masterful artists.
“Fragment: Erhabenheit” is a sharp offering from an insanely talented black metal outfit. I can hardly believe that in the flurry of end-of-year releases this album almost passed me by. I’ll have to admit that I’ve been envenomated by Theotoxin and I refuse to be administered with the antivenom. 9/10 Proua Metallist.
9/10 : Epic Storm!
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