Intestine Baalism
Ultimate Instinct


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyler Munro EMERITUS
January 14th, 2009 | 130 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Late arrival to the best of 2008 banquet...in the darkness

Where the fuck did this come from? One week I'm listening to An Anatomy of the Beast, wondering what Intestine Baalism was up to, and the next I'm hearing their new album came out two weeks ago. If you've never heard Intestine Baalism, you're an idiot. But otherwise, their sound is easily summarized by catchy, idiomatic and sometimes oxymoronic statements. Typically, they're pinpointed with some variation of “brutally melodic” and as contradictory as that may sound, when has anything the Japanese done made sense to the Western world? At this point in the review, I'm merely stalling. Intestine Baalism are far from the most complex of bands to describe and Ultimate Instinct falls right in line with their previous two. In fact it kind of mixes them.

Their first two albums fell into a very Swedish foundation: An Anatomy of the Beast brought some old school crunch and Banquet in the Darkness indulged in the sugary sweet sounds of Gothenburg. And while I'm alluding to cereal, you can put whatever flavour you want on a death metal album and it'll still be death metal. This is what Intestine Baalism thrives on. Even if Banquet in the Darkness did border on an early In Flames aesthetic, the overrated Swedes (that'd be In Flames) couldn't have put out such a solid album if they burnt Banquet in the Darkness and sharpied their names on it. And even so, Banquet in the Darkness was more Jester Race than Reroute to Remain; more “December Flower” than “Trigger”. It seasoned itself with melody; a spoonful of sugar, not a foot long pixie stick. It was Lucky Charms before you take the toasted oats out---a complete, balanced "breakfast". Take Ultimate Instinct as an Intestine Baalism refresher course. It solidifies their discography, reminding us of all their previous highs while smoothing out some of their lesser moments. As with their previous works, Ultimate Instinct has a very Swedish base, but it turns that base into a cauldron, a melting pot of extreme metal's finest sounds.

“Agony in the Stone Chamber” opens the album playing the part of an overly demonic Dismember. Littered with fluctuations between half-time and blastbeats, the opener's real highlight is the reintroduction of Seiji Kakuzaki's absolutely sickeningly disgusting growl. It's guttural, almost toxic sounding and most importantly it's filthy as fuck. “Cry for the Sun” is the overly melodic second track, and like Banquet in the Darkness' title track, it rules. Vocally, “Cry for the Sun” introduces the listener to Kakuzaki's blackened snarl, which is what Mayhem's Atilla might sound like if he wasn't such an overbearing, melodramatic queer. Basically, imagine an Atilla who didn't come off like an understudy for the lead role in a high school production of The Phantom of the Opera. “Cry for the Sun” is a highly accentuated track, this time breaking up the chaos with a semi-acoustic Latin groove that's followed by a shred-led reprise---a fucking awesome climax. “Longing for Birth” is the best song on the album. Though it starts off with an alarmingly slamtastic intro, the track mirrors “Agony in the Stone Chamber” with it's intent to mix contemporary brutality and vintage simplicity. The track's obvious highlight comes mid-way through in an evil groove that sounds eerily like an excerpt from Dismember's oft-underestimated Massive Killing Capacity. The groove is in some respects an anti-breakdown, aiming to ramp things up rather than break them down. From there, Intestine Baalism go on to flex their much-enhanced black metal muscles. Both “Awaking” and “Wind of Death” feature their fair share of tremolo picking, but neither track succumbs entirely to Norwegian Orthodoxy; the former blending the tinny tremolo picking with a low punch; the latter necrothrasing itself around bouts of solo-covered doom metal.

Ultimate Instinct's ultimate victory is its ability to sound so real, so authentic. It manages to blend elements of New York, Norway and Sweden into a natural, original sounding album. The band manages to solo without turning supererogatory, to sound evil without gimmickry. Most importantly, it combines the classic and the contemporary into a fun, digestible but far from disposable album. So now we have found the third piece in 2008's death metal triforce of eliteness, and hey, it's better late than never. Arghoslent and Dead Congregation, the final guest to your party has arrived.



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user ratings (95)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
January 15th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was stalling on this, got bored at work. Was all, "sup", so I wrote this quick. Going to watch a movie now, will fix dis up later.

masscows
January 15th 2009


2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fun review, good album

Tyler
Emeritus
January 15th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so good. donno why i decided on 4.5 for my personal rating i just like listening to it so much. will probably drop back to a 4 in time but whatevre.

Willie
Moderator
January 15th 2009


16149 Comments


The second paragraph is genius.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Tyler
Emeritus
January 15th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

mmmmmmm cereal.
I was actually munching on froot loops when I wrote this.

Zoo
January 15th 2009


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=Willie]The second paragraph is genius.[/quote]
Indeed. Awesome review.

This album is yet another reason I should have waited to do my best of '08 list.

iarescientists
January 15th 2009


5863 Comments


just watch slumdog coke

jrowa001
January 15th 2009


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is sick. not sure yet if i want to give this a 4 or a 4.5

rasputin
January 15th 2009


14555 Comments


Good review, amazing album.

AngelPhoenix
January 15th 2009


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Knew this was coming.
Fuck you coke.
Masterful review.

Even if Banquet in the Darkness did border on an early In Flames aesthetic, the overrated Swedes (that'd be In Flames) couldn't have put out such a solid album if they burnt Banquet in the Darkness and sharpied their names on it

lol

From there, Intestine Baalism go on to flex their much-enhanced black metal muscles. Both “Awaking” and “Wind of Death” feature their fair share of tremolo picking, but neither track succumbs entirely to Norwegian Orthodoxy; the former blending the tinny tremolo picking with a low punch; the latter necrothrasing itself around bouts of solo-covered doom metal

Sounds fucking epic.

Couldn't get into B in the D, I think I might be racist...
But seriously, already have this, but haven't listened yet, doing so now.



Essence
January 15th 2009


3595 Comments


Art is also awesome.

JizzInMyPants
January 15th 2009


2397 Comments


hmm if this is like arghoslent i am in

rasputin
January 15th 2009


14555 Comments


Yeah, artwork rules. Definitely need to order this.

Tyler
Emeritus
January 15th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is nothing like Arghoslent. Learn to read, Jizz.

Essence
January 15th 2009


3595 Comments


I'm surprised you responded to his idiocy at all.

JizzInMyPants
January 15th 2009


2397 Comments


i only read the conclusion so idc

AngelPhoenix
January 15th 2009


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Coke must drop the hammer.

Tyler
Emeritus
January 15th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

why drop the hammer when you can hammer the hammer

jingledeath
January 15th 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is good, I'll keep this at a 3.5 for now but I'll probably raise it after a few more listens.

AngelPhoenix
January 15th 2009


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Liking this a bit more than Banquet. Seems more consistent (as in consistently good) overall. Drumming seems to have improved at least slightly too, which is a big deal for me. Dark Surface and the title track are ace.



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