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Album Review: CADAVER The Age of the Offended

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File this one under "Uneasy Listening." Cadaver has something to say and, with that, they give us a really agitated record that moves the band into a much different direction from their previous offerings. Age of the Offended is Cadaver right up in your grill.

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Main man Anders Odden doesn't hide his disdain for the world today. In fact, he pines for the extreme metal scene of the early '90s, which was anything but politically correct. “When we were growing up, we wanted to offend everybody with what we were doing…That’s what I learned from Mayhem. Just say ‘fuck off’ to everybody and be explicit and obnoxious and all that stuff." After even just a few listens to the new record, I get it… loud and clear.

Anders describes the making of this record as liberating whereby the band didn't look to follow any supposed rules or to attempt to remain in a particular genre (which is readily apparent in the finished product). He tells us, "When we grew up, we didn’t just listen to one kind of music, it was whatever was extreme… Hardcore, death metal, black metal, grindcore, it didn’t matter. I think all these people who try to fit into a genre, they don’t understand that we never wanted to be part of any genre. That was our driving force – to do our own fucked up version of whatever suited our abilities, and if that was named black metal, death metal or grindcore, who the fuck cares?”

The band shares that the track "Scum Of The Earth," "is about all the black/white thinkers in the world and {how the} loud voices of polarization in politics and religion blur our understanding of anything. There is no cure for stupidity and we just have to accept that humanity never stops to disappoint."

The song itself is very uptempo and has some groove and, elements of punk and even some industrial touches that, altogether, give it a multi-layered sensory experience. Try and categorize it and you'll have a difficult time.

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"Age of the Offended" is another angry song that strays very far from the usual Cadaver formula. Though, there is something from the past here. Back in the fold for this track is double bass player, Eilert Solstad. Some of you might remember 1992's In Pains (an overlooked death metal classic), which featured a distinct prog-infused death metal sound. Well, this record is nothing like that, but Solstad appeared on that record and then took a multi-decade hiatus. That's Eilert in the mask in the video. And if you're wondering who the 12 string guitar player is, that's Norwegian guitar legend Ronni Le Tekro who, most notably, played in the hard rock band TNT. One would never really imagine a TNT/Cadaver mash up… yet here we are.

"Crawl of the Cadaver" is another original sounding track. It has some hefty groove and a massive low end that really hits you right in the chest. There is also some nice lead work that provides some accents that you can really pick up with a great pair of headphones. Songs like these demonstrate that Cadaver is much bigger than advertised. While technically a two-piece band, they bring in a wealth of guests and sounds to elevate their output.

It's not all necessarily a new direction for Cadaver though. This new record definitely has some tracks that are going to satisfy those who love the older death metal sonics. "Death Revealed," while not a traditional death metal song per se, gives off some '90s vibes, especially as drummer Dirk Verbeuren puts on a clinic. Same with "The Drowning Man" and "The Sicker, The Better" which also give a strong nod to grind. But songs that sound like the Cadaver of the past are the minority on this record.

As someone who first listened to Cadaver back in 1992, I will admit this newest record took some getting used to. I was expecting a death metal record and what I got was something generally different. Cadaver does, however, do experimental well and I really enjoy the wealth of bizarre sounds the band creates here. While I would rate the band's previous death metal work higher than The Age of the Offended, this is still a must-have for an Cadaver fan and something to check out for those who are looking for something new and original.

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