Like carpet bombing a swath of civilization with no warning, so too has the two piece totalitarian outfit Autokrator swiftly and abruptly erupted upon the underground, sending an undulating shock wave of fear and terror throughout its nethermost regions. Without a known demo or rehearsal to their name, Autokrator suddenly dropped a self-titled full length in 2015 that has seen this duo steadfastly conquering and enslaving its opponents ever since.
And like most historically infamous despots, Autokrator seem to have no plans on stopping or even slowing their domination agenda, for 2016 has already birthed another towering slab of weaponized industrial Death Metal terror entitled The Obedience To Authority. Released earlier this year digitally and on CD, this voracious beast of an album is receiving the vinyl treatment it so rightly deserves from the esteemable Larval Productions and thus we have another reason to examine this compelling act. Here, we again find Autokrator doing what they do best: crushing the masses with an overwhelming show of force that comes in the form of extremely down tuned, churning compositions that are as bluntly heavy as they are atmospheric in nature. However, the attack has been honed this time around in such a way that the eight chapters that make up The Obedience To Authority are arguably even more subjugating and deadly.
Upon pushing play, you’re greeted to the sounds of what seems to be a man being drowned or water boarded, and it’s this kind of cold behavior completely lacking in empathy that is a perfect prelude to the inhuman, domineering show of strength that is to follow. Within seconds your delusional, democratic views are shattered by an eruption of cacophonous sounds that include some of the deepest gutturals you’ll come across – a relentless, mechanized battery assault, and a wall of bass and razor sharp riffs that clash and conjoin in the most sinister of ways.
What hammers its way through your speakers for the following 36+ minutes is nothing short of a revamped, perfected version of the vision laid out on the debut album. The second chapter begins ominously with sounds reminiscent of hundreds of boots hitting the ground at once after a harrowing entry track throws you head first into the grasps of this militant killing machine. And this kind of psychological warfare doesn’t stop there, for the next chapter is dedicated to the sounds of militarism and torture as boots march amid spinning saw blades carving out the last vestiges of human freedom – one of the best anthems on the album begins with “Chapter IV.”
This song begins with blast beats galore and a striking vocalization, before screaming guitars send this massive tank of a track into overdrive with a crushing chorus of sorts, as a line is bellowed forth and repeated in such an overarching, reverberating manner that it would come from the lone Tyrant himself, to be shouted back by legions of unquestioning disciples ready to march and overthrow empires at the wave of a finger. And with another such wave of the finger, silence. 10 seconds of darkness before an explosion of fury and dominance at the 1:30 mark reignites the mantra once again, repeating itself until, little by little, things fade to black, and the eerie echos of boots on the ground resumes…
But of course, the mind control agenda has just begun, and the following chapter hits you with sinister vibes all around before opening up into its grand declaration, as the word “INDOCTRINATION” is chanted over and over again atop striking open chords that resound to the track’s completion, fulfilling a mantra that is at once repetitively brutal in its command, obviously coming from a force that cannot be reasoned with; one that simply can and will impose itself upon the masses.
An eerie spoken word piece follows on “Chapter VI” that I wish I could understand, for it sounds cold and desolate, completely without infliction or personality, as if the orator had no emotion whatsoever. I can only imagine his words were not a sort of Utopian dream…
This, I think, is the voice speaking to the man or civilization who has already been broken. And what follows is the final solution. “Chapter VII” is probably my favorite track from the album – for the first few minutes it builds pressure with crunching riffs, sinister atmospherics, vocals that seem to surround you and tempered drumming heavy in cymbal use…all forming a base that gives the ultimate credence to the band’s description on their bandcamp page of “Suffocating Death Metal.” But as I said, this is merely the building of pressure…for at the 4:32 mark, the band embarks upon the most straightforward, pummeling section of the entire album as lightning fast blast beats endlessly hammer forth without respite for the next minute that immediately evoke images of hundreds upon thousands of men being effortlessly mowed down by machine gun fire in the field with no remorse whatsoever.
After this ultimate pulverizing chapter, there is nothing more to say. With all detractors and opposition silenced, castrated, and beaten into utter submission, The Obedience To Authority ends in darkness and a forlorn stillness beneath the unconquerable foe that is Autokrator. Uncompromisingly calculating, brutal in ideology and twice as cold and murderous in practice, Autokrator have again cracked the whip of supremacy upon the backs of the slave majority in such a way that none will ever question their methods again. Might is right and Autokrator aren’t taking no for an answer; not now, not ever.