Old School Swedish Death Metal. If you’re short on time, you could just read those first five words and have a pretty accurate view of what this album is like. That guitar sound is now so ubiquitous that it usually takes no more than a couple of guitar notes to be able to say the genre that the band are going for. Being a Swedish band comprised of three veterans of the genre, including stints in such bands as Wombbath, Just Before Dawn and Henry Kane, it’s no great shock to anyone that this isn’t a half-baked effort at all. I do wonder what the identity of the band is, though.
This batch of reviews saw another old school death metal album for me to review, Entrails and their “World Inferno” album. It’s actually proved to be a quite useful exercise to have another (excellent) album from the same sub-genre to benchmark this release alongside. As a sucker for this kind of record, and this particular brand of extremity, I’m always keen to hear new music, but the differences between bands can be quite academic these days, as many of them seem to fall into a number of camps. Firstly, you have those bands that simply wish to ape the sound of their heroes – so there are any number of bands that want to essentially re-record “Clandestine”, or be Dismember. Secondly, there are bands that deliberately mask the mundane nature of their songs with a cavernous, mysterious or crap production (delete as appropriate). Finally, you have those bands that stand out by virtue of offering something just a little different to the pack. To my ears, Gods Forsaken would feature here. They’ve got hefty dollops of grit and grime, with a purely filthy crust-punk influence that makes them sound like a mid-tempo and blasting Swedish equivalent to the excellent Vallenfyre to my tired old ears.
It’s not the most subtle of albums, mind you. You’re not going to find many delicate axeman-ship, nor strange twists and turns in the song writing. Nope, these are pretty much heads-down blasters, with the odd mid to slow tempo section in order to illicit maximum grimaces from their audience. In particular, ultra-grim blast-und-crawler “Born of Blasphemy” manages to smash Amebix, Entombed and early Death into a blender, and smothers it in HM-2 sauce. It’s a stand out track, and deserves to be heard by a wider audience, being a particularly gnarled and slithering take on the genre conventions. The production, as you would expect, is pretty much spot on, with the sheer weight of the rhythm section crashing against the ears relentlessly. Revolutionary? No, probably not. A bloody good listen? Yep. There’s enough here to keep even the most tired listener engaged, and a great foundation for more to come in the future. More please!
(7.5/10 Chris Davison)