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The Kandidate - "Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death" (CD)

The Kandidate - "Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death" CD cover image

"Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death" track listing:

1. Death
2. Beyond The Mind, Sleep You'll Find
3. One And Alone
4. Total War
5. Modvind
6. Let The Maggots Have It
7. Standing On The Cliffs Of Madness
8. Fucked In The Search For Life
9. Disillusionized
10. Dommedag
11. The Knives Spit

Reviewed by on February 10, 2012

"A valuable lesson in how angry music should be played - and remembered."

In my recent interview with Danish guitarist Allan Tvedebrink of The Kandidate, he observed of current global trends in metal: “There’s a tendency toward music that’s played by computers, not by real people. This is our thing: we’d like to fight for music that’s played by real people.” If that’s the war the band has chosen, then consider the sophomore disc “Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death” a hard-won battle.

This is a mean, unforgiving arsenal of thrashy death-tinged songs that pulverizes you not with a constant high-speed frontal charge – given the wrong mood, those albums put me to sleep now and again – but through the raw, genuine rage embedded in the very essence of the playing. No posturing, satanic black metal wannabes can hope to terrify on this level when frontman Jacob Bredahl (ex-Hatesphere) bellows, “Memories lost, memories gone, DEAD! FUCKING DEAD!” over the grooving crunch of “Let The Maggots Have It.”

For a band rooted in such aggression, it’s refreshing to discover that no two tracks sound quite alike. In a shift from the comparatively straightforward offerings on the 2010 debut “Until We Are Outnumbered,” this album is soaked in hardcore’s confrontational snarl (“Modvind,” “The Knives Spit”) and punk’s directness (“Fucked In The Search For Life,” “Dommedag”). “Standing On The Cliffs Of Madness” is the standout thrasher, while “One And Alone,” “Total War,” and “Disillusionized” increase the considerable groove factor. Tempos rise, fall, and otherwise shift unpredictably with a journeying complexity that somehow never feels blatant or disjointed. Guitarist Tvedebrink is largely responsible for this; his avalanche of inventive riffs slides right past the edge of wankery with feet to spare, and winds up riveting you as the rhythm section blows out your car windows.

Produced neither too much nor too little, “Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death” sounds exactly as its makers believe it should: like four expert musicians playing a tight, precise live show, where the digitized soullessness of excessive effects and overdubs is off the table. Essential for fans of Hatesphere (and of primary influence Entombed), The Kandidate is teaching a valuable lesson in how angry music should be played – and remembered.

Highs: "Let The Maggots Have It," "Standing On The Cliffs Of Madness"

Lows: Pure death/thrash fans may not appreciate the prevalent punk and hardcore tendencies, and if you can't handle being yelled at, forget it.

Bottom line: Thrash, death, groove, hardcore, and punk converge in Denmark for one hell of a collision, leaving no survivors.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)