Ever since Galder joined DIMMU BORGIR, OLD MAN’S CHILD is viewed as his side-project, with most people completely oblivious to (or blatantly disregarding) the fact that he had been around under that moniker for many moons before he joined the big Norwegian Black Metallers. After a four year break since his last effort “Vermin”, Galder now is back with his seventh full-length album “Slaves Of The World” and overall only few things have changed compared to before, but in this case that is not standstill, but the focus on a direction that can actually be made out as OLD MAN’S CHILD amidst the masses of other bands of similar styles.
Something that had marked the Norwegian’s sound ever since the beginnings was the very variable approach as well as this interesting atmosphere that Galder has been able to conjure up, also some traditional Heavy Metal influences here and there, but on “Slaves Of The World” he transcends the genre borders in different directions, with some Death Metal, some Thrash and even some Industrial touches woven into the rich tapestry of dark music that while not being a huge change still brings in a breath of fresh air into the 42 minutes of music. Despite numerous allegations that this band/project is nothing more than the same sound that DIMMU play, OLD MAN’S CHILD has a less layered approach that makes it easier to get into their sound without compromising any of the musical integrity and consistency. Greatly helped by a very, very clean and clear production courtesy of Fredrik Nordström the devil is in the details that come through everywhere and make this album so special.
What strikes is that despite a partially symphonic approach the keyboards are very tastefully and sparingly used, never drenching the compositions but used for the best effect, thus setting OLD MAN’S CHILD apart once more, which comes through perfectly on the powerful, mid-paced title track, while following “Saviours Of Doom” adds a brick with nice dynamics and power, very aggressive vocals and VERY tight drumming courtesy of session drummer Peter Wildoer and ”The Crimson Meadows” is the first song that introduces the Death and some Thrash, while packing quite a wallop, excellent track, this album promises to be more and more fun, which is continued by the surprising use of the piano on “Path Of Destruction” that is a definitely different approach.
And it is these details that make OLD MAN’S CHILD’s music never get boring or overtly predictable and thus sets them apart from the legions of other bands of this or a comparable style and should also definitely be enough to shatter any of the dreaded comparisons with DIMMU BORGIR. “Slaves To The World” is the very welcome continuation of the string of high-quality releases by the Norwegian and I you have liked their music in the past, there is nothing that will stand in the way of you thoroughly enjoying their seventh as well!
(Online February 28, 2010)