Built To Kill
Review by Felix on September 24, 2023.
Körgull The Exterminator, who are a kind of modern edition of the Spanish Inquisition, announce their return with Built To Kill. The quintet is one of these formations that will probably never change their style and this is just one reason why I like them. Another is the “female” voice of Lilith. Her singing still sounds raw, mangy and toxic. I assume that the air always becomes very sulphurous as soon as this woman enters the room. And if she kisses a guy, it will probably be accompanied by a short inferno of flames. If she is at all inclined to such sweet deeds; one does not know. Either way, the main thing is that Built To Kill is another important item in the pretty opulent discography of the band. The sixth full-length is not their best work of all times, but another more than solid slap in the face.
Although the protagonists have never shied away from very harsh segments, the album does not deliver sheer frenzy. The band is aware of the fact that sometimes expressive riffs demand for a certain space to reveal their full effect. It is probably no wonder that 'The Devil’s Sea', the opener, starts with a proper, heavy riff, before the real massacre begins. Anyway, there are still a lot of brutal, slightly chaotic sequences. 'Exterminator', for instance, develops a lot of energy and dies definitely not lack aggression. The song opens the second half of the album and is followed by the excellent 'Night Of The Devil'. Once again, we get a perfect opening by the biting guitar and as soon as the song has started rolling, a merciless riff sets a very strict course. There is so much power and pressure to find here, but that’s not all. This highlight also houses a kind of morbid catchiness. This is Körgull at its best and Lilith’s “Ugh” screams at the end add the final touch. Maybe her “Ugh” even revitalizes the warrior in Tom G., who knows? But I fear that he drowned in a cold lake decades ago.
Generally speaking, the second half of the album is more attractive than its first part. Of course, the beginning of 'In The Darkest Of Times' sounds great and it pleases the traditionalist to hear that 'Existential Risk' with its slightly dissonant riffing again refers to the early classics of Voivod. But the second half is almost flawless and culminates in the violent closer 'Count Estruch'. If this pretty multi-layered, wild ride accurately captures his character, he seems to be a real creep. In this case I wouldn’t be surprised if he has been responsible for the technical implementation of the songs. The material sounds dirty yet powerful and non-conform yet professional. No doubt, Built To Kill is an album with a sharp-edged, the spirit of black thrash expressing production and the relationship between instruments and voice is okay. Even some strong solos have crept in and therefore I can say that Körgull have found their niche and they have designed an almost unique sound. I do not know any other band that presents this archaic-anarchic intensity with female vocals. Thus, it is a pity that the five-piece did not have a good idea for the artwork, but this remains the only weak detail here. The Spanish Inquisition knows its business, then as today.
Rating: 8.4 out of 101.15k