Arbitrator – Indoctrination of Sacrilege (Self Released)

Tuesday, 24th February 2015
Rating: 7.5/10

It’s not too often that you can come across a band that allows for The Project Hate as a reference. But Arbitrator’s debut full-length, Indoctrination of Sacrilege, does exactly that. A self-financed effort, in which Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren was enlisted to assist, can give you an impression of the caliber of work here. There’s a lot of potential here once some rough around the edges has been removed.

As evidenced by the opening paragraph, Arbitrator play some ‘cyber’ death metal that is quite similar to The Project Hate in many ways. The use of occasionally atmospheric electronic elements, bottom-heavy and angry guitar riffs, robust growls, and lengthy song structures (and titles) all seem to lean towards TPH, as well as occasionally Fear Factory (“Serpent of the Styx” is a real treat). The band is also capable of some absolutely killer melodic solos. Seems like a home-run right? Surely, Indoctrination of Sacrilege is quite satisfying and gives an adrenaline rush but there is one sticking point holding it back. Whereas TPH had female vocals to balance the dynamics, Arbitrator do not have much on that front. The vocals mostly consist of growling, giving the atmospheric segments a shorter lifespan before pushing back into the heavier material. This makes the songs feel as if they’ve overstayed their welcome on a few occasions, despite an otherwise interesting and promising set-up.

With a bit of fat-trimming, Arbitrator are on to something here with Indoctrination of Sacrilege. The combination of the industrial bits, pummeling death metal while getting your fill of melodies, and menacing growls should have plenty of appeal and does veer them away from most of the pack. Definitely worth checking out if you enjoy your death metal a little on the futuristic side.

Arbitrator official website