Sweden is well renowned for producing some of the finest death metal the world has to offer and five piece Swedish Death super group Firespawn are no exception to the rule. Consisting of former members of Entombed A.D, Aeon and Defleshed, Firespawn’s debut full length release Shadow Realms is one delightful onslaught of traditional, no strings attached death metal.
Anyone who is a fan of straight up death metal is going to love Shadow Realms. The sheer levels of energy and raw enthusiasm behind the album are off the scale. This album possesses both insane levels of groove and speed throughout. Bloodbath are an obvious influence on Shadow Realms, along with more technical and ferociously fast death metal acts such as Cryptopsy with some grindcore influences thrown in for good measure.
The level of speed and intensity on Shadow Realms is astounding throughout. Tracks such as Spirit of the Black and Ginnunga are both rambunctious, erratic songs which pull some mighty violent punches. Conjuring up plenty of aggression and impressive growls from vocalist L-G Petrov, both Spirit of the Black and Ginnunga really showcase the dynamism of Firespawn.
Despite being essentially a death metal album, Shadow Realms does offer the listener some respites from pure, unadulterated death metal. Track five Contemplate Death is a gentle little acoustic number with soft, Latin guitars and the following track All Hail has a slightly smaller death metal presence than the rest of the album, sounding more like the Devildriver’s burlier older cousin than your typical death metal band.
Regardless of the very brief intervals, the majority of Shadow Realms is a knock out death metal delight. Probably the most brutal of tracks is number seven Ruination. With furiously fast guitars and a dose of splendid blast beats, Ruination ticks all the powerful death metal boxes. Following track Necromance is also a rifftastic, infectious hit with packed with enough groove and gumption fit for any death metal classic.
Shadow Realms is an absolutely stellar debut release. Despite being in their infancy as a band, Firespawn have managed to create your quintessential Swedish Death Metal album, filled to the brim with enough riffs, deep growls and blast beats to satisfy pretty much every death metal fan. Shadow Realms has pretty much guaranteed to score Firespawn some enviable festival slots and tours in 2016. Bravo mighty Firespawn and keep up the awesome work!
(8/10 Eilish Foxen)