It's been about four years since the last Old Man's Child record and it seems we've been waiting forever for it. The current Dimmu Borgir guitarist Galder has gotten a little more exposure since joining the well-known symphonic metal group, but he hasn't forgotten about his original melodic black metal project, now on album number seven, titled Slaves Of the World. There has been even more anticipation for this record since Galder made the statement that he is really proud of this record and "it marks to be one of the OMC albums I put the most advance planning and dedication into." With that said, fans will not be let down as Slaves of the World is without a doubt, Old Man's Child's catchiest record, and yet they still haven't lost their touch at all and sound as heavy as they always have.
Old Man's Child do a solid job at combining melodic death metal with black metal and a large part of that is with the riffs. They usually alternate between death metal riffs to melodic solos along with interesting breaks that lead into speedy black metal parts. The addition of the solos help the band sound catchier but the band's sound still remains very heavy. Galder also has thrown a few tricks up his sleeve to keep Old Man Child's sound sounding fresh. The clean guitar parts in "On The Devil's Throne" for one along with the many tempo shifts that are included in nearly every song. That's the thing with Slaves of the World, despite it's overall sound blending together, each song stands out in their own way.
The main focus to Slaves of the World seems to be anger and aggression. You can tell that they sound a lot meaner and ferocious on this album than they have before. Galder's raspy black-metal styled growls are intensified on a whole other scale, and the drumming has been better than it has been in years. Recruited behind the kit for this album is Darkane drummer, Peter Wildoer and he really proves to be a key player here. Wildoer keeps up at a very fast pace to match the black metal styling in the music and doesn't miss a beat. However, there are a lot of times on the album where the drums sound a bit compressed and the snare beats sound very awkward for some reason, just a minor complaint though.
Production also is a huge factor in Slaves of the World. While good production is typically a big "no-no" in the world of black metal, it just works for some bands. Fredrik Nordström (Nightrage, Opeth, In Flames) does a fabulous job of making this album sound as big as it possibly can. He makes Old Man Child's sound ten times more intense and aggressive than it's been before. The guitars sound a lot more robust, the keyboards are well placed along with the few symphonic touches ("Path of Destruction") to make Old Man's Child sound spot on.
Of course, there will be a lot of backlash from metal extremists who may not like the crystal clear production, symphonic elements, or that the core member of the band also plays in Dimmu Borgir who are generally considered a laughing stock in metal. Regardless, Galder stuck to his promise that he put a lot of time, effort and planning into this record and it really shows as Slaves of the World is a lot better than most melodic black metal albums that have been released recently. Great, yet not over the top production combined with the overall aggressive sound of the music in general, make this a really solid release. May actually win a few people over who are new to the genre, as well.
7.8 / 10
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