The Pitch: "French suffocating death metal troop Autokrator has become a source of obeisance in the domain of underground extreme metal. They are returning with the third full length...and anyone looking for unconventional and harrowing form of death metal should not miss this album at any cost."
Flight's Take: YES! Look, I enjoyed Autokrator's sophomore effort, Obedience to Authority, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little bit disappointed. It was a good album, but it lacked the earth-shattering, shifting tectonic plates feel of the debut. I am thrilled to say that Hammer of the Heretics is far more akin to the latter. With the support of David Bailey on vocals and Kevin Paradis on drums this time around, Autokrator has returned to its former destructive glory. It is a dense, harrowing take on death metal that will melt your brain and liquify your bones. Drums, guitars, and vocals are but tools of cruel cenobites orchestrating your sadomasochistic torture. "We have such sites to show you." Even the 3 minute interlude that breaks up the first and second halves is as close to a representation of Hell I have heard since Event Horizon.
Flight's Fav's: Inquisitio-Denunciatio-Exceptio, Le Sang Impur
Chris' Take: Autokrator has delivered some of the most Earth shattering and overwhelming death metal in recent memory, fusing in elements of drone, industrial, and noise to make it that much more potent. Where The Obedience to Authority wasn’t quite as dense as its predecessor, the group’s third album Hammer of the Heretics feels like it’s going to cave in your skull. There’s once again an emphasis on droning blasting that creates layers upon layers of crushing sound that also has a hellish undertone, with just enough variation between songs to keep them from feeling repetitive. And while I’m one that usually isn’t a fan of long interludes, this one works and creates a harsh, nightmarish soundscape that’s on par with dark ambient and death industrial. Three albums in Autokrator’s overall sound has remained consistent but it’s still genuinely enticing and some of the most destructive death metal around.
Chris' Fav's: Le Sang Impur, Hammer of the Heretics
The Verdict: Hammer of the Heretics is an album that is not only CRUSHING: it redefines the meaning of that word. While Autokrator have yet to make a bad album, this most recent outing serves as a return to form of sorts, and I would rank it second in their overall discography. Always happy to hear more material from the talented Loic and co.
-Review by FlightOfIcarus and Chris Dahlberg
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.