Autokrator is one of those bands whose music I think of as the soundtrack to world-ending calamity. The almost unmitigated savagery and destructive power of this French duo’s death/black/industrial assaults are overpowering, even though their music also exerts a powerful primal appeal — you can become easily intoxicated by their brand of blown-out violence. And so it was more than a little frightening to read the comment by guitarist/bassist Loïc Fontaine that the song we would be premiering today is “probably the most brutal song Autokrator has ever composed and played”.
This song, “DCLXVI“, appears on Autokrator‘s forthcoming fourth album, Persecution, which is set for a November 5 release by Kruyator Productions. As has been true of previous albums, this one again takes historical episodes as its theme. Here, they recount the persecution of Christians during the ancient Roman Empire — under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius, Diocletian, Domitian, and Trajan.
They make clear that “the record has nothing to do with glorifying the barbarity; it rather conjures up the cruel and dreadful sufferings of the victims — be it decapitation, execution, lapidation, damnatio ad bestias, dislocation, imprisonment, or banishment”. That is a harrowing mission, and the music Autokrator has created is equal to the task.