CADAVER Unleashes their Resilient Extremity in ‘The Age Of The Offended’: A Dive into Norwegian Death Metal Mastery
With the current times unfolding, the relevance of bands can span different periods of their duration in the realm of contemporary Metal.
CADAVER is a band that experiences phases of absence but doesn’t lose its essence. From its beginnings in the nineties up to the present day, they persist as an ascending and prestigious presence, especially in the northern part of the old continent. They deliver their sixth work titled “The Age Of The Offended,” with all the eagerness to insult, disgust, or outrage in their musical concept.
This release comes with the descriptor of unmissable, or at the very least, not something to overlook, because the pleasure or appreciation for Extreme Metal is assured. The convergence and transigence with perfidious or vile forms are relevant in this lengthy record.
Taking charge of this are its members: Anders “Neddo” Odden on vocals and guitars, Dirk Verbeuren on drums, Ronni Le Tekrø on the other guitar, and Eilert Solstad on the contrabass. Regarding the latter, Mr. Odden commented: “Eilert is a very skilled musician, coming from Punk and Jazz, but for him, CADAVER sounds like progressive madness, optimistic and strange, with many punk vibes and oddities. He grew up with SABBATH and all the great bands of the seventies, so he’s old-school Hardcore. He’s been with us since the year twenty twenty, and when we perform live as a trio, he creates this insane space for the guitars to be completely bizarre on top. The distorted bass simply fills all the gaps in the lower end, sounding very different from any other Metal band. That’s a key element for us, deliberately doing something different live.”
The cover art and design are by Khaine Al Hazared, from the creative collective FLESHFLIES, in a collage of suggestive and evocative images. The album is backed by NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS for global distribution in various physical formats.
Formed in the early nineties, CADAVER stood out as a promising extreme metal group in Scandinavian Europe. They have been tirelessly navigating the world of Extreme Metal, just like their founder Mr. Odden, who battled cancer and emerged stronger than ever with an enthusiasm that first infected his bandmates and then the fans. The band boasts the youth of Mr. Verbeuren, the experience of Mr. Le Tekrø, and the recent addition a couple of years ago of Mr. Solstad on the contrabass, which adds a certain sophistication.
This is why in “The Age Of The Offended,” we find such insight, involvement, and commitment to giving us a very unique album. Also notable is the collaboration with Svein “Tuba” Johannessen on trombone, who also collaborated on the introduction for their debut album “Hallucinating Anxiety” over three decades ago, returning to contribute to the instrumental opening of “Sycophants Swing,” conveying a disturbing vibration of chords full of surprises and unease.
This sixth production was recorded across various locations in countries such as the United States, Finland, and their native Norway, including Daufembach Studio in Los Angeles, Villa Necro in Helsinki, Studio Tomb in Råde, and Studio Studio in Nyhagen. Under the primary direction of renowned producer Adair Daufembach, who also handled the mixing and mastering along with sound engineer Kjartan Hesthagen, achieving balance across various aspects of each track, providing cohesion to the entire duration.
Mr. Odden shared his thoughts on the skills and challenges this brought: “Dirk Verbeuren recorded his drums in Los Angeles. Our producer, Adair Daufembach, who also recorded all the drums for Dirk, came to Finland to record with Kiko Loureiro, MEGADETH’s guitarist, for his solo album. Then he had to come to my house and record what I was doing. This was in the late twenty twenty-one, and the Covid passport issue made it difficult for Americans to travel from Finland to Norway, so I had to fly to Finland. We rented an Air B&B house, set up a makeshift studio, and borrowed some equipment from a friend producer of mine in Helsinki. We recorded all my parts for two weeks in Helsinki, right next to the airport. Just to add some humor to the situation, I gave the place a name: The Villa Necro!”
With this execution plan, Mr. Odden continues: “I really wanted it to be completely psychedelic. It’s a very weed-friendly album. I think it’ll be quite trippy with mushrooms. But the signature sound is present in all the albums in some way, in the riffs. You can recognize the same vibe, but always in a different sonic context and inspired by different things. I don’t want to limit myself as a composer and musician.”
Thirteen tracks of natural, beastly, realistic, and rigorous Norwegian Death Metal. “The Age Of The Offended” has a duration of over forty minutes, during which CADAVER remains in its intrinsic environment of Extreme Metal, occasionally immersing in a psychedelic ether with the instrumental aspects brought by Mr. Le Tekrø, who introduces new tremolos and jolts in his strings, blending seamlessly with the rest of the members, creating a relevant album for today’s dilemmas, laden with a spine-chilling spirit that each track achieves.
The album kicks off with the track “Sycophants Swing (Intro),” featuring the collaboration of Svein “Tuba” Johannessen on trombone and Oivind Senander on keyboards. This track presents a dissonance of wind instruments with a sickly determination, serving as an introduction that prepares us for an atmosphere where the delirious, psychotic, or overwhelming transforms into CADAVER’s musical tones of Extreme Metal. Mr. Odden commented on the musician’s collaboration as follows: “Svein was in Eilert’s Jazz-Punk band in their early days. I wanted to bring him back. He plays a melody on top of what I composed, and it sounds as if he sampled something from the twenties. It’s an original piece, but it sounds like it’s from a hundred years ago. I wanted to capture that hundred-year-old sensation, with the Spanish flu and World War I, that apocalyptic feeling. I wanted to have the sound of the crazy twenties interwoven in this cinematic piece, really strange and modern. I called it ‘Sycophanto Swing,’ in reference to all those flatterers who pander to those idiots running the world, be it Trump, Putin, or any dictator.” The idea is quite clear.
The next track, “Postapocalyptic Grinding,” transitions from dissonance to cohesion. The former is well-structured with riffs blending Death and Thrash Metal, at a tremendous tempo, and melodies that emanate exasperation in a range of rhythms, making the track appealing. Following that is “Scum Of The Earth,” which introduces a variety of rhythms that maintain the essence of the band. The percussion of Mr. Verbeuren sets the tone, and this track is remarkable for its sonic experimentation and audacity in its orchestration, offering an intriguing narrative. The eponymous track of the album, “The Age Of The Offended,” presents a similar discretion, with sharp riffs and Mr. Odden’s morbid-toned vocals giving it a distinctive touch.
“Death Revealed” is intense and penetrating throughout its structure. The forcefulness of the riffs is striking, with belligerent and violent shifts that make it evocative. CADAVER’s technique, combining a nearly spatial background with off-kilter vocal interjections, creates a unique atmosphere. Following that is “The Shrink,” which boasts a magnificently crafted chorus inviting us to engage in headbanging. Its enveloping rhythm doesn’t require acceleration; instead, the heaviness of sustained notes from Mr. Odden and Mr. Le Tekrø’s strings is notable. The band’s evolution in sound is evident without losing any potency.
“Crawl Of The Cadaver” distinctly exudes resentment, displaying the groove they’ve been known for since we first encountered them. The intensity of Death Metal is strong and hints at the potential of future projects. “The Drowning Man” introduces a distinct element in “The Age Of The Offended,” a track with powerful progressive influences that deviate from what we’re accustomed to. Despite sounding different, the drive and energy are tremendous, making room for Mr. Solstad’s bass with perfect subtlety.
“The Sicker, The Better” unleashes frenetic harmonies from all instruments, pleasing those who revel in Extreme Metal. Their Black Metal tones are splendid and masterfully intertwine with keyboard sounds, creating a fascinating dynamic. “Dissolving Chaos” starts with Mr. Le Tekrø’s guitar solo, which repeats several times throughout the track, providing a progressive and gradual touch. The chaotic rhythms are justified by tempos driven by both strings and percussion. There are even hints of psychedelia in sinister tones, elevating the track to another level.
“Deadly Metal” shifts the tone, returning to the pace of Death Metal. Aggression and ferocity in the chords prevail, with Mr. Odden’s voice being crushing. CADAVER’s essential rhythms are present and showcased with their familiar mastery. “The Craving” and the previous track are among my favorites due to their incorporation of the band’s power through spectacular orchestration. They maintain a consistent intensity with their frenzied strings, guaranteeing a well-executed work. The album concludes with “Freezing Isolation,” chaotic melodies in terms of the medium tempo they infuse, with gloomy and dissonant tones reminding us that we’re dealing with a rebellious band that can offer splendid and grandiose variations of Extreme Metal without compromising its essence and quality.
In a way, “The Age Of The Offended” brings CADAVER’s music together, dispersed as it is across their discography. There’s much to explore, enjoy, and, at the same time, it offers a collection of tracks with a morbid touch that connects all the pieces into one of the best Extreme Metal albums of the year. Its appeal contrasts with the conventional, presenting the full creativity of the Norwegian band. With each listen, the album reveals remarkable details in the symmetry of its melodies, warranting the time it deserves.
In summary, “The Age Of The Offended” possesses ruthless components and foundations, infused with an antique charm. Its composition consistently provides reasons for astonishment due to the variety presented in each track, while maintaining overall coherence. CADAVER has crafted an exceptional style that challenges the norms of the Death Metal genre, and this achievement is thanks to the creativity of Mr. Odden, the main architect behind this blend of intense and stimulating elements. Its appeal is counter to the usual, presenting the full creativity of the Norwegian band. With each listen, the album reveals remarkable details in the symmetry of its melodies, warranting the time it deserves.