Ingram, Johansson. Johansson, Ingram. Do these names ring any bells? No? Are you fucking kidding me! Have you been living in a hole for the past christ knows how long or what! If I must I will refresh your memory, and you had better bloody well listen! Now, where to start.
A couple of things spring to mind instantly, for Sir David of Ingram a few little bands, you know, only Benediction and that other bunch, Bolt Thrower. Not to mention Just Before Dawn and a stint with Hail of Bullets to name a few, nothing overly important at all, I mean I can’t really blame you if you haven’t heard of any of them. Not like they had any major impact on Metal as it is in this day and age…you idiot.
Mr Johansson, or Rogga as he is known to his family and those who actually fucking pay attention has been in a couple of things as well, just a few mind you. These may or may not include Paganizer, Minotaur Head, Ribspreader, Putrevore, some mob called Echelon which apparently also included that Ingram chap. A few more, well so many more that I will run out of space if I list them all, I actually wonder when this man gets time to go to the lavatory but anyway, suffice it to say he likes to keep busy.
And so, as things go, these two musically inclined fellows decided a while back to include one more thing on their roster of stuff to do, and Down Among The Dead Men was born. Immaculate conception or unholy union? That is a question far beyond the realms of us mere mortals, so the only thing we CAN do is sit back and absorb the fruit of their labours. It’s a hard life innit!
“And You Will Obey Me” is the fourth child born of this metal matrimony, following on from two full lengths and one split release, and if you are so inclined you can easily track them down, but for the purposes of not waffling on too much more let us focus on the album at hand, that being the one I mentioned at the start of this paragraph just in case you had fallen asleep already or wandered off to find something else to do.
Death Metal, with a bit of Crust and other goodies thrown in, when done well, is a damn fine thing. Some try, many fail, but right from the start you can guarantee with these two steering the ship you are in for one hell of a journey. Let’s take a closer look, and start where all good adventures begin, at the beginning. For the sake of my own sanity I am not going to break this down track by track, there are after all only so many times one can use the words death, crust, attitude, Ingram and Johansson, and fuck yes, oh, wow and awesome ha-ha.
Straight off the bat, opener “Destroy The Infinite” goes straight for your metal sensibilities with riffing grunting ferocity. Ingram is at his most vicious, crushing you with dastardly lyrical intent backed up by Rogga’s guitar assault. Rogga also handles bass duties by the way, and hat’s must also be lifted to Kjetil Lynghaug for his astounding lead work and Erik R Bevenrud pounding the skins for helping to propel this juggernaut, and on we go.
Did I fail to mention that a certain Mr Ingram is a rather large fan of Doctor Who? Well if I did, then I just have, and a few of the tracks on here may possibly reflect that. Fan of The Doctor or not, it makes no difference to the awesome that is found here, but if you happen to be a fan, as I am most certainly, it only makes things even more brilliant.
Title track “And You Will Obey Me” is another exercise in sheer unadulterated fury, kicking you straight in the sensitive bits with some deadly crusty attitude and the chorus telling you exactly what you are going to do, and there is no prize for guessing what that is. Sorry to disappoint.
Roll on to “The End Of Time”, and you are as close to a toe tapping ballroom shaker as this sort of thing can get, more like a real ballroom blitz! The gates of some unknown hell have opened and the devil incarnate is spewing out his foul intent right in your general direction. A brief respite towards the end with some bass guitar noodling whilst Dave tells us in no uncertain terms that no, he does not want to go, then back to giving you that frontal lobotomy you always wished for.
“Omega” has some of the fattest thrashiest riffs known to man, and again will get them digits tapping away like mad before the infection spreads to your neck, rendering you incapable of doing little more than banging your head like some sort of demented dervish. Feel the power,oh yes indeed. More please good sirs!
“The Age Of Steel” opens with the type of death grunt that gets my attention instantly, a warning of the verbal battering you are about to receive, and boy do you cop one. This one has a slight touch of an industrial feel in parts, nothing wrong with that for mine, like a finely tuned machine of war Down Among just keep driving forward destroying all in their path. The lead work on here is such a tasty treat as well.
Almost at the end and “Darkness Of Glass” comes swaggering into the room with a tale of demonic excellence. This is a far slower number than a lot of this stuff, and the groove set here by all involved parties is a very heavy one to say the least. Superb stuff, leading us now to the unfortunate end, that being “Panopticon”.
Classic Ingram at his very best, this one could have been done by any of those piddly little bands he has appeared in before, but putting Rogga and co in the mix only intensifies the level of brutality. No dicking around here, and that can be said for most of this release, Down Among are not here to pluck the proverbial chicken ladies and gentlefolk, they are here to crush your tiny soul. I for one think that they have achieved this, and your finger will reach straight for the play button again at the end. So very good, that like that tasty beverage you swill when the thirst strikes, one sip is just not enough. Drown yourself in this one folks, and you too can be Down Amongst The Dead Men.
Rating – 5/5.
You can purchase this beast of an album right here people!
Go for this one! A feast of goodies awaits!