Review: Old Man’s Child

Old Man’s Child
“In Defiance of Existence”
(Century Media)

I’ve been waiting for this one, and it certainly starts off different from former releases by Galder’s Old Man’s Child.  But first, if you’re not in the know, Old Man’s Child is a long running black metal band in the strictest sense of the definition of black metal.  The beats are supersonic, keyboards play a heavy roll and the vocals are raw, sore-throated spasms of pain.  Galder was recruited back in 2000 to play with Dimmu Borgir and for this new OMC release he nabbed Borgir’s drummer for skin whacking duties.  “In Defiance of Existence” has the distinctive sound that Old Man’s Child is known for, but the arrangements are far superior and beyond my expectations.

Keyboard melodies play off the frantic guitar work and triple time drumming.  If I didn’t know better I’d swear only a drum machine could be capable of pulling off some of the shit Nicholas Barker dishes up for us lucky listeners.  The solos don’t distract from the songs but rather blend in seamlessly to enhance the pulse-pounding atmosphere of harmonious and joyful discord.  There’s not a lot of studio trickery here either.  The production is more minimal than it has been on some of OMC’s prior releases and the only place production dropped the ball is on the sound of the tom.  If the production is minimal, then it serves to enhance the band’s minimalist approach to black metal as well.  You’ll find no orchestras or choirs joining in with OMC as many other black metallers have been throwing in of late.  This is stripped to the bones and better for it.