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'Indoctrination Of Sacrilege'
(Self Release)

jools green

Jools Green


Another release in an increasingly long line of unique Metal offerings from Canada is the debut full length release, ‘Indoctrination Of Sacrilege’, from industrial death Metal project Arbitrator.

The mastermind behind Arbitrator is Rob Kukla, who is joined by none other than Dirk Verbeuren on drums (Soilwork, ex-Devin Townsend Project, ex-Aborted) along with Myles Malloy on lead guitar, guest vocals from Darren Ross and Connor ORT Linning handling programming and follows a debut EP release, 'The Consummate Ascendancy' in 2011.

The band name Arbitrator, interestingly, was derived from the word's original definition and manipulated to fit the band's Satanic theme, an arbitrator being; "One chosen to decide a dispute using arbitrary (unrestricted) judgement, applying to that of an all-powerful figure, often described in Christian themes as the "Anti-Christ", chosen to come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead."

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The release features six tracks spanning thirty-nine minutes of industrial edged death Metal of fairly brutal proportions. The vocals are, on the whole, good from an aggressive and harsh perspective but a touch more intonation, range and clarity in places would make them awesome.

I like how the softer keyboard melody runs parallel to the aggressive guitar work on the tracks, particularly on the opening track 'They Will Worship This Fire Of Agony' and it goes without saying, the drum work from Dirk is first rate, as you would expect, particularly on 'Stillborn Bastard Of The Nazarene', a track that has a catchy aggressive groove that really caught my ear, also the vocals here did exactly what I would have liked them to do on the previous track, the sound-bites midway add an interesting and thought provoking edge along with great second half guitar.

Haunting distorted cleans add an interesting aspect, as does the midpoint guitar work on 'For That Which May Appease Lions', the album single which was released as a free download at the end of 2014. 'Serpent Of The Styx' begins on a hauntingly atmospheric programmed opener expanding out into superb guitar work. The track continues as a blend of the symphonic, the industrial and the brutal, with the guitars having a hint of the technical about them, as well as some great bass rich parts and more great guitar work in the second half of the track, the haunting atmospherics returning for the closing minutes; an interesting track that sat well with me.

I love the bleak oppressive opener on 'Profaned And Perfected', the haunting keyboards giving way for some pretty crushing riffs. They do return further in, but that crushing and darkly oppressive edge is still maintained with more great guitar work breaking things up midway before taking a strong industrial slant in the second half and the soundbites making an interesting listen.

The vocals here are great, very brutal and nice intonation but I wished there was a tiny bit more clarity just because the whole concept to this track fascinated me so much I would have liked to get a better grip on the lyrical content; my favourite track of the release.

The final and shortest track, 'The Burning Sands Of His Kingdom' is an interesting industrial orientated instrumental which does break out into some beautifully atmospheric guitar work midway; a great album ender.

'Indoctrination Of Sacrilege' was produced by Sacha Laskow (ex-Divinity, Every Hour Kills) and mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy) along with album artwork done by Colin Marks (Exodus, Scar Symmetry, Jeff Loomis) and should be of interest to fans of  bands such as Bloodbath, Aeon, Behemoth, Vader, Septic Flesh and Gorefest.

It is worth noting also that Rob Kukla considers this just the beginning of the journey in developing the sound that is Arbitrator. I think it's a great start with huge developmental potential and I look forward to seeing just how it does develop in the future.

'Indoctrination Of Sacrilege' is available Arbitrator's Bandcamp page.

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