Old Man's Child - Slaves Of The World
Century Media
Melodic Black/Death Metal
9 songs (42:08)
Release year: 2009
Old Man's Child, Century Media
Reviewed by Goat

As much fun as there is in affectionately mocking the Norwegian Black Metal circus that is Dimmu Borgir, it becomes a little harder when we come to talk of the members’ various side-projects. Galder’s Old Man’s Child project is actually on an equal footing with his day job on kvlt terms, the band originally formed in the same year as Dimmu, and it has produced some decent albums, from the early days when Aldrahn and Tjodalv featured on debut Born Of The Flickering right up to 2005’s Vermin, featuring Eric Pederson in a guest spot, being consistently good without producing anything particularly brilliant.

Slaves Of The World, the latest full-length from the one-man-plus-friends band, is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Old Man’s Child, a very melodic form of Black Metal with influence from Thrash and Death Metal; the symphonic elements taken most obvious care of with piano tinkerings here and there. Galder is joined by drummer Peter Willdoer, also of Pestilence and Darkane amongst others, and his performance is impressive with both typical Blackened blasts and more diverse sticksmanship shown off. That’s nothing compared to the variety in the guitarwork, however, which switches between many different styles in the course of a single song and makes it all work. Galder has a lot of talent in his fingers, which doesn’t always get a chance to shine in Dimmu Borgir’s increasingly supergroup nature, and as good as his playing is, his compositional skills are pretty darn good too, as shown from the above-quality nature of the tracks here.

From first to last, the songs are interestingly complex, packed with riffs and layered with vocals, as well as being varied enough to keep your interest, but it’s pretty clear that the less kvlt you are, the more you’ll enjoy this. Opener and title track Slaves Of The World has some pretty neat technical work going, and the likes of The Crimson Meadows make as many open references to Death Metal a la Entombed than to the likes of Emperor. Highlights depend on your tastes, but personally I enjoyed the dip into ‘proper’ Black Metal towards the end of The Spawn Of Lost Creation, which develops into a melodic and epic finale. The orchestral intro to Path Of Destruction will get fans of Dimmu Borgir’s In Sorte Diaboli to throw the horns with mad passion, turning into an enjoyable exploration of the bigger band’s mid-period, whilst native-language Ferden Mot Fiendens Land is one of the best Old Man’s Child songs I’ve heard, touching on the Progressive as it works a path towards the sort of Avant-Black previously left to others, the ending being unashamedly headbangable.

Ultimately, the true accolades must go to album finale Servants Of Satan’s Monastery, however. Starting with acoustic strumming, it soon takes a wonderfully Opeth-ian path before advancing speed and taking a Thrashy path sure to leave all who hear it headbanging helplessly. Of course, if you’ve previously turned your nose up at Old Man’s Child then chances are that Slaves Of The World won’t change your mind, but those who can appreciate Black Metal of a less kvlt variety will enjoy the songs like Unholy Foreign Crusade without quite declaring it album of the year. Obviously, fans will love this, as it’s a big step forwards from Vermin and easily has double the kickass moments that that album did; if there are no tracks as instantaneous as War Of Fidelity, the number of individual moments more than make up for it. Fans, buy without question, newcomers, check it out, everyone else, hang your heads in shame, as this is a fine album to be missing.

Killing Songs :
Slaves Of The World, The Spawn Of Lost Creation, Ferden Mot Fiendens Land, Servants Of Satan’s Monastery
Goat quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Old Man's Child that we have reviewed:
Old Man's Child - Vermin reviewed by Jason and quoted 90 / 100
Old Man's Child - In Defiance Of Existance reviewed by Jack and quoted 90 / 100
Old Man's Child - The Pagan Prosperity reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Old Man's Child - Revelation 666 reviewed by Danny and quoted 89 / 100
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