Album review: DODSFERD The Parasitic Survival of the Human Race
There is music that is meant to comfort us, music meant to disturb us, and music meant to impale our senses with the cold immediacy of tragedy and death. On latest barn burner The Parasitic Survival of the Human Race by Greek horde Dodsferd, there is no pretense of comfort, escape, or anything else so cushy and fictitious. We don't even get a break in between songs, as main man Wrath has chosen to fill those spaces with the sounds of mass violence. Screams, ominous distant explosions, alarms wailing and people dying . . . the infamous Greek riots of 2012 are the soundtrack heralding each pit-inducing blast of crusty punk/black metal on offer.
The four songs which comprise the album are like sonic extensions of the panicky, smoke-filled chaos of those riots. The paucity of tracks may sound like this is a very brief burst of an LP, but the songs themselves are long and full. Dodsferd is adept at keeping that frenetic mood firmly in place throughout, Wrath's unconventional (for black metal) vocals making the racket more Disrupt than Darkthrone in nature.
The results are both earsplitting and highly effective. Take the way "Creator of Disease" erupts from the speakers. Simple, tension building riffs spill over to a speedy punk beat with a couple old-school breakdowns, then back to a boot-stomping pace of violence and speed punk madness. A couple gang vocals in there for good measure, and what you have is the mood of the uprising encapsulated in sound; the riffs halfway through suddenly go cold as a Scandinavian winter's night, but we are still immersed in the chaos.
We can still hear the rocks hitting the riot shields; the deafening whoosh of the molotov cocktail as it shatters against a windshield. But we aren't taking sides here. No, the intent of The Parasitic Survival of the Human Race is evident in its title. The songs themselves portray this feeling through the whole record, never once losing focus. Devastation, atavism, and spite for the relentless vermin known as homo sapiens.
If black metal embodies chaos and turmoil than this album is its soundtrack. What Dodsferd have achieved on tracks like "Breeding Chaos" and "Stupid Worthless Sheep" is a total assault on the senses, seething with spite and vitriol. The hate Wrath clearly has for the lurching stupidity of mankind is expressed perfectly by his insidious vocal style, but instead of the three-chord standard of punk rock, the musicality of Dodsferd makes this so much more than another Discharge clone. This is nihilistic black metal, but with the edge-of-the-knife calamity of dirty, rotten punk rock thrown in, played with a ferocity that could send Carpathian Forest running for the trees.
On "Doubting Your Worth" the repetitive opening riff follows samples of desperate arguing capped off by an explosion. The ensuing track shows Dodsferd is adept at building the tension musically as well, as the marching drum beat pounds us toward a mid-paced chug underpinning Wrath's sermons of screaming malice. The song keeps to an almost Killing Joke-like staccato repetition, until right around the 4:40 mark, when the pace finally quickens. A quick, fuzz-soaked breakdown, followed by a most cold and black metal blasting sequence steamrolls us to the song's conclusion. The music stops. A siren blares toward the still, cold aftermath of terrorism.
More riot samples follow before Dodsferd closes things out with a kick-ass cover of the Misfits "We are 138."
Dodsferd's main musical course has always consisted of early Darkthrone inspired filth, with a healthy side of crust punk, and if you have enjoyed the tale so far, Parasitic should please you. If punk rock is totally not your thing, this release may not be for you. But if a flawless melding of the two styles is something you find appealing, then this will churn your guts into a circle pit.