Audiopain The Switch To Turn Off Mankind

Norwegian thrash/death (Slayer meets Mayhem) hybrid Audiopain have been the subject of much critical shredding over their decade-long existence. Releasing but a few EPs and split CDs in that time, one could see how their tongue-in-cheek approach to Satan and destruction popularised by their peers might be misconstrued. With The Switch To Turn Off Mankind, however, the confusion may finally be dispelled. The album is packed with abrasive, confrontational metal that pulls from thrash’s chugging low-end riffs and searing solos. However, with a vocal delivery closer to that of Converge being mutilated by gaggle of black metallers, The Switch To Turn Off Mankind is a startling affair. Knowing that full-on double-time can render an album uninteresting though, Audiopain occasionally opt to slow down and let songs roll along at an imposing pace. The end result, as on "Termination Fields,” is an ominous, foreboding atmosphere where listeners switch between merrily head-banging along and unleashing pent-up aggression in furious circle-pits. Sadly short (again) at six songs, The Switch To Turn Off Mankind feels like more unfinished business but at least it proves they are finally coming into their own. (Vendlus)