THE KANDIDATE, Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death  (2012, Napalm)

The skull:
There’s a kind of alchemical transformation happening in this scene. The skull was laid to rest in a casket he could barely fit into, but that’s incidental to what then occurred: the wood of the coffin disintegrated into negative space, a kind of black hole right here on Earth, and the bone of the skull transformed to wood. It all went down for reasons only a wizard of alchemy can explain. The beams seen emanating from the casket are the alchemical forces at work. In this bizarre phenomenon they are always invisible, like radio waves, but rendered visibile here for artistic purposes. It’s hard to tell by his expression if the skull is slap-happy about all of this or scared right down to the tits.

The music:
Heavily tattooed bands with short hair wearing baseball caps and metal t-shirts don’t necessarily sound like Pantera and other jump-metal superstars. But usually that’s the case. I’m already concerned — before even listening to this album — that I’m not very qualified to review thug/aggro/jump metal, mallcore and other associated lunacy. But let’s start with the t-shirts, because there’s some hope here: they like Slayer, Disfear and Trap Them. Once I finally got around to listening to this album I understand that they’re very good at what they’re doing. Maybe even excellent. I’m being totally objective here — it’s not my thing at all, but maybe it’s yours? This is modern metal that’s not quite thrash and not quite death and while it could appeal to the Pantera crowd, it doesn’t totally pander to that audience. If you can imagine Konkhra jamming with Desultory when both bands were deeply embedded in their groove phases, you’d have The Kandidate. If you’re a huge Hatesphere fan, it might cause you spasms of joy to know that Jacob Bredahl is singing here, but is anybody really a huge Hatesphere fan? Nah, not for me, but considering they also boast members of Thorium and Withering Surface, I guess I kinda have to admire their work in the Danish brown metal trenches all these years. [To the observant Big Dumb Skulls reader: you might note we reviewed Trap Them yesterday and Hatesphere is coming tomorrow, and that both are mentioned above. Total coincidence. Thank you for your patronage.]
— Friar Wagner