It sounds like death and looks like black, as for what it smells of, well rotten meat no doubt. Hailing from Sweden and keeping things very morbid Degial who have been around since 2004 are only just getting round to releasing their debut album. A demo and an EP have come before it but prolific they are not. Perhaps this could be partly due to their involvement in a score of other bands and that includes ex live players in Watain and Shining. One of the group, drummer E Forcus is also in Repugnant and looking at the promo picture of the group I was reminded a little of a cross between them and Watain, but forget the image, what of the music you ask?

This is not the longest of albums and does not hang about with intros or anything of that nature as ‘Eye Of The Burial Tempest’ clatters in with some very odd timings making you wonder if its going to be one of those quirky albums rather than following true Swedeath stylings. Well it’s a bit of both as behind the punchy Fred Estby recording there are lots of avant and strange signatures flailing out from the guitar department. The drums hammer and the vocals rasp with a feral bite beneath them. It’s a bit all over the place and takes a while to get into but the wild solo will slap you round the chops whether you have or not. Things are a touch more familiar by ‘Serpent’s tide’ and the skewed guitars warp around your head in a style that is very reminiscent to Aura Noir before things settle into a gravid death march that pounds and bristles away. Like angry wasps the guitars make a stinging frenzy to ‘Swarming’ no doubt as intended, this is flung out at breakneck speed and virtually grinds away at you with little finesse or mercy. There is a pure Morbid Angel solo here too.

Deviating from the 3-4 minute mark we have the title track at almost double the length. This allows it to slow and groove away at a gnarly pace before rumbling and lurching onward with a crushing demeanour. Vocalist H Death changes from rasping to growls to suit the mood and the melody behind things is as thick as tar and sticks to you like foul black gunge. Add a grating guitar solo from Seth Teitan and this should go down well with those who dwell where slime lives. The neck snapping ‘Perpetual Fire’ is the sort of song that could certainly go down a storm live and you can see this lot supporting the better known aforementioned Swedes and easily causing a stink of their own with tracks like this. Closing chapter ‘Black Grave (The Gateway)’ dashes off towards the finish line and at 35 minutes the album leaves its mark and gives you absolutely no time to get bored by it. The only thing left to say here really is don’t make it so long before album number two.

(7/10 Pete Woods)