I wasn’t familiar with Blood of Seklusion prior to receiving this and having read the opening promo blurb that, rather confusingly stated “Swedish death metal from Italy” I started to frown and get a bit grumpy.

Now Italy is famous for many things….. The Mafia, pizza and being the only army in the world to fit reversing lights to their tanks to name but three. But er….. Swedish Death Metal isn’t something that leaps to the forefront of my mind when compiling a list of “famous Italian stuff”. I then noticed that the band were signed to German label, FDA Records and my frown turned upside down! FDA have a really strong roster and I don’t think I’ve heard anything from them I didn’t like. So on it went. And yeah, I like it a lot.

Bit of background, Blood Of Seklusion (why the ‘K’ lads?) released its first demo, the subtley titled “Flogging Deathstorm of Pain” back in 2010,  signed to Sevared Records in 2012 and dropped their equally brilliantly titled debut album “Caustic Deathpath To Hell”.

The lads have spent the last few years touring with some of the best in extreme metal, bands such as Hail Of Bullets & Cattle Decapitation to name but a few and have clearly taken on board a few little tricks from the more experienced DM veterans because this their second album (say sophomore again motherfucker I dare you…..I double dare you) is proper!

Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Corrosion of Conformity, Nails, Toxic Holocaust, Obituary) the sound is gorgeously plump and dirty, just how I like it, with a guitar tone that screams mid-nineties Grave & Entombed but the band put their own spin on things and this is not some gushing Swedeath tribute act. Song writing and structure is on point too with some killer riffs and savage leads. The vocals of Alberto Dettori remind me a bit of Alex from Krisiun, harsh and aggressive, perfectly suiting the savage groove of the music as do his throbbing bass lines. The main topic lyrically here is warfare  with song titles such as “First Blood”, “Unconventional Warfare”, “Desert Of Lost Souls” and “Willie Pete” (which is mil slang for white phosphorous…… not the name of the smelly old bloke who lives round the corner and always has his hands in his pockets)  this should come as no surprise.

The lads clearly know what they’re doing and the album has a really modern vibe to it despite the up-front HM2 worship on display.  Most certainly worth a look.

(8/10 Mark Eve)