Quest of Aidance // Misanthropic Propaganda
Rating: 3.5/5.0 — Join The Resistance!
Label: Pulverised Records
Websites: Facebook.com/questofaidance | Myspace.com/questofaidance
Release Dates: EU: 2013.05.24 | US: 05.28.2013
Gawd, is it possible it’s really been 30 years since V and Robert Englund rooted their reptilian claws so firmly into my life! My head very nearly exploded when I came across this, the first full-length release by Swedish deathgrind band Quest of Aidance and I discovered that Misanthropic Propaganda is in fact a V concept album based on the original 1983 television series. Yes really! Misanthropic Propaganda follows on from their 2007 EP Dark Are The Skies At Hand and while there has been an extended break between the EP and this full-length, its done Quest of Aidance a world of good. Dark Are The Skies At Hand contained a mismatch of material, with part of the album referencing a Predator concept and the rest V. With such a blatant mismatch of ideas and the chaotic combination of the grind micro-song trend, the EP left me flat. Seven years later, Quest of Aidance return with their take on death metal’s technicality and grind’s brutality; crashing the two together in a head-on collision that reminds me of a Dying Fetus, Misery Index mash-up with some Travis Richter The Human Abstract progressive elements thrown in for good measure. Feeling those hunger pangs setting in yet? [I’m so hungry, I could eat a huge mouse!! — Steel Druhm].
While Quest of Aidance may not be well known, its individual members surely are. Founding members Christian Älvestam (Miseration, Solution .45, Torchbearer, ex-Scar Symmetry, ex-Syconaut and ex-Carnalized) and Christian Lundgren (Miseration, Vomitous and ex-Carnalized) handle the rhythm and lead guitars on the album. Their fast, shreddy, progressive guitar work ranges from militaristic, stabbing assaults on “New Storm Rising” to brutiful [Are you making up words like Alex does? — Steel Druhm] riffs and solos that seem instantly familiar on tracks like “Deadly Viral Strain”, “Section 34”, “Sothis Allegro” and the thought provoking “Like Shadowing Suns”. Session drummer Oscar Nilsson (Miseration, Saint Daemon and Despite) is a dynamic and vital part of Misanthropic Propaganda, providing a near-relentless skull pounding of well-timed blasts and palatable, whirlwind fills offsetting and adding to the contrasting synth elements in tracks like the “Deadly Viral Strain” and “The 5th Column”.
Much like the Visitors, Quest of Aidance have a two-pronged approach to their vocal style, in one instance they’re lambasting you with seething, deep-throated, growls and the next you’re under siege by venomous, larynx-shredding screams reminiscent of Travis Richter’s vocals on The Human Abstract. Vocal highlights include the offset growls and screams in “To No Avail”, “Syrian Breed” and the angry assault of “Anyx”.
Swedish artist Pär Olofsson does an outstanding job of hitting you with the full lizzardly, doomridden visual aspect of Misanthropic Propaganda, successfully bringing this monster to life. Pär’s art specialty lies in dramatically representing death metal using visual arts that include aliens, zombies and the apocalyptic and his previous works grace albums like Immolation’s Majesty and Decay and Spawn of Possession’s Incurso and Noctumbulant to name just a few — gotta say I love this creepy-as-hell album cover!
The clean and modern production used on Misanthropic Propaganda makes picking up on Daniel Valström’s (Syconaut) vocals (the lyrics and the album’s concept) remarkably easy, and therein lies my gripe. Being that this is deathgrind and is supposed to make you get up, mosh and destroy your living room, the album feels as though it’s missing some of the savagery and malice.
If you’re able to overlook the “modern production” issues and you take time to allow the wormy intricacies to wash over and immerse you in Misanthropic Propaganda‘s concept, this album’s depth will captivate you.