Ad Hominem – Napalm For All (2018) REVIEW

The glistening, desperate wetness of tired shock tactics permit long-running projects like Ad Hominem to exist off of the rage-hype that steadfastly drools from the mouths of run-and-gun humanists who are energized by defiance of fascism. I can only heartily pat the back of my fellow well-intentioned internet ghouls and sigh at the reactionary and shrug at those desperately seeking said reaction. The self-aggrandizing sexual impotence and feigned hatred of ‘Napalm For All’ amounts to absurdist juvenilia, full-stop. To be as frank as possible, the bellicose polemics involved in Ad Hominem‘s now anti-everything imagery and lyrics amounts to little more than feigned extremism. More succinctly, the musical statement within, outside of shock value banners, isn’t art enough to warrant much beyond placid apathy.

It would be unfair to deny that Ad Hominem‘s Kaiser Wodhanaz isn’t at least a bit of a cartoonish shock rock terrorist and to write off his project as purely trite. Ad Hominem has had some small influence upon the ‘black n’ roll’ style. The project’s earliest records were fairly standard and aggressive black metal and ‘Napalm For All’ owes very little allegiance to their more orthodox sound. The record instead follows the post-thrash/black n’ roll changes to their discography starting with 2005 full-length ‘Climax of Hatred’. ‘Dictator’ from 2009 remedied some of the sluggishness and simplicity of the previous album with some sharper drum programming and a far more professional production with increased guitar layers. The truth birth of the cartoon characterization and controversy-thirst began with 2015 full-length ‘Antitheist’ a bland black n’ roll album geared towards simple rock riffing and Vried style black metal.

To his credit Kaiser has pieced together a musically superior and more stylized vision compared to ‘Antitheist’. Though the intentionally catchy parts are sometimes hampered by poorly mixed programmed drumming (My apologies if that is an actual drummer because it sounds horrendously robotic.) Much of the simpler guitar work is rhythmically fluid and engaging. ‘Napalm For All’ when approached solely from a musical perspective is a simple, average later-Darkthrone-ish black metal-meets-rock record with a minor industrial rock flair to it. As much as Ad Hominem puts on the airs of black metal but puts little of it’s spirited darkness into the music beyond aesthetics.

I’m not entirely sure how to approach the lyrical content here and I’ve chosen not to for lack of insight and the sake of moving on to something else a bit sooner. The song-titles are toned down from ‘Antitheist’ and actually read a bit tame compared to stuff like “Glory Hole Jesus”, “Impaled Muhammad” and witty “Death & Cunt” previous. I hate to miss out on what could be clever clickbait outrageousness but without a lyric sheet I’m pretty useless at discerning phrases sung in black metal affect. I found “AMSB”, the title track, and “Vatican Gay” to be the strongest musical statements but “Goatfucker” is the most memorable piece on the record. “Vatican Gay” is the most tonally exploratory track and features some nods to thrash metal that hark back to ‘Climax of Hatred’ a bit. I think there are some good moments on this album but I have trouble engaging with it’s ultimately bland-rockin’ approach to most of the guitar arrangements.

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Artist Ad Hominem
Type Album
Released April 13, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow Ad Hominem on Facebook
Genres
Black ‘n Roll

From cunt ’til death. 2.5/5.0

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