2012 has not had to wait long to welcome a definite album of the year contender in the muscular shape of the brutally intense Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death from Danish metalers The Kandidate. The release attacks and blasts every sinew whilst whipping away the safety net to leave senses precariously balanced and open to the merciless aggression and rampaging violent sounds blasting their every fibre. Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death is immense and the sternest challenge to everyone else to try and match let alone beat the quality bursting out from its eleven thunderous tracks.
The Kandidate began in 2009 though the band existed under the guise of The Downward Candidate before it from 2005. Band founders guitarist Allan Tvedebrink and bassist KB Larsen had to deal with unsettled line-ups and uncertainty about the bands direction in the previous incarnation but with the joining of vocalist Jacob Bredahl in 2009 the band found itself and with a new focus came a new beginning and name change. The following year saw the band’s debut album Until We Are Outnumbered, come out to much acclaim followed by tours with the likes of Entombed, Trap Them, Volbeat, and Rotten Sound, where between shows the band worked on and wrote new songs, often trying them out in the live sets for assessment. The year was also highlighted for the band by their return to the legendary Roskilde Festival in the summer of 2010 to great triumph and success.
The following year The Kandidate began working on the follow-up Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death and in addition welcomed new drummer Niels Peter, his impressive power and ability adding a new dynamic to the band’s sound. Produced by vocalist Bredahl, who enlisted Tue Madsen to produce his own vocals, the resulting album to be unleashed January 27th via Napalm Records is a tumultuous glorious fury of punk thrash metal. Fuelled by tightly crushing riffs, irresistible hooks and distorted melodies the confrontational Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death intrudes and lingers on every facet of the senses, its dark lyrical theme inspired by the imminent prospect of death as striking and impactful as the sounds.
Breaking out with the brief blackness of ‘Death’ the album churns up the ear and passions right through to its last nasty note. ‘Beyond the Mind, Sleep You´ll Find’ truly gets the release started. Its scorching riffs and staggering bassline punched through by deeply impressive stick work from Peter immediately leaving one breathless. The sound is raw and coarse brought by the band wanting to bring their live sound to the recording, throwing aside many modern recording techniques to successfully achieve their aim and the album is wonderfully fluid and powerful from it.
There is not one weak moment on the album in strength or quality but certain tracks inflame the passions more than others. ‘One and Alone’ throws up the spite for a life oppressed and dead inside whilst seemingly offering up a fight at the same time, Bredahl’s emotive and impassioned gruff delivery gives real punch to the track. This is matched by the merciless intrusion of ‘Total War’ with caustic riffs that scar the ear as an incisive groove plays the senses like another instrument. Things get even more intrusive and captivating with the punk blistered ‘Modvind’, the frenzied thrash assault of ‘Standing on the Cliffs of Madness’, and the quarrelsome energy of ‘ Fucked in the Search for Life’ recalling older days of punk belligerent attitude , all eager to rile up and incite the senses.
The album leaves the best to last with ‘The Knives Spit’. Catchy and partially anthemic the track bullishly thrusts through the ear with defiant vocals, riffs and rhythms whipping up a fevered rampage within, the perfect ending to a stunning and amazing album. The Kandidate has set the highest bench mark for all bands with Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death. Not many will come close.