Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Monday, October 18, 2021

Review: Autokrator – Persecution

Label: Krucyator Productions

Date: November 5th, 2021

I have absolutely no idea what your musical preferences are. Me, I go as wide as possible. From a diabetes sweet pop to extremes of the extremes. Now, I’ve heard more extreme than Autokrator, no doubt. But that’s too far even for my musical taste. Like noise, or the total musical bestiality of savage black / death metal. Poorly produced to top it all off.

These two French gentlemen (with added drummer) fall one step behind such abominations. Luckily, I might add, because it’s a hair’s width to becoming totally unlistenable.

Speaking of that death / black metal combination is one way of dealing with Autokrator. But that’s a simple way out and comes mostly from the chaos reigning behind these tones. Adding to the chaotic feel, constantly lurking within these thirty four minutes, is the production which is as dense as possible and super heavy. Thus you get this constant claustrophobic touch, as if the walls of sound are coming together to crush your bones to dust, or even smaller particles than that.

At the same time, half of the record seems to be a part of a ritual, long ago described by H. P. Lovecraft. Pulsating drumming kicks your nerves on and on followed by a buzzing guitar riff to send shivers down your spine. Whether Autokrator goes fast or slow, it is always there. The mind-numbing fear of crawling chaos.

Then again, the whole album revolves around ancient Roman themes. Funnily enough, it made me think of Asterix and the brave village of undefeatable Gauls. But that’s just my weird mind at work. Anyway, Autokrator is as dark as it gets and heavy as the sun itself. The Roman thematic finds its way into this type of music through blasphemy, naturally. The earliest possible kind.

Speaking of concrete genres and influences, the French duo is overly death metal oriented. In that regard, especially with the mentioned atmospheric element, along with the vocal work and dark blasphemies chanted, Necros Christos came to my mind. It’s just that Autokrator is much heavier. Vital Remains is another good example, especially for that heaviness and slow, doomy connections. Black metal passes through simply to enrich the atmosphere, but I get the feeling it only grazes past “Persecution” as a slight hint. Marduk is a point of reference here, whether fast and destructive or slow and creepy.

So, calling Autokrator a death / black metal band is an understatement. Dark death / black / doom metal is much more appropriate. Or just extreme metal. Whatever… Doesn’t really matter. If you’re a horror fan, or simply enjoy the above described feelings, you mustn’t miss this. Otherwise, avoid at all costs.