It’s good to know that Sweden is maintaining its cultural heritage of rip-roaring death-thrash metal with deep riffs and extravagant melodies. So Lik has come on the scene to blow our minds and rip flesh. “Carnage” is their second album.
Starting with “To Kill” and “Rid You of Your Flesh”, the drummer beats the hell out of his skins while ultra heaviness is pumped out in a way that makes you want to bounce along to these songs with grisly themes. The juggernaut is well and truly rolling by “Celebration of the Twisted”, a darker, twistier but equally magnetic number. Off we race again as Lik launch into “Dr Duschanka”. A dirty riff and furious drumming accompany this furious assault with a catchy chorus and occasional atmospheric forays into dark corners.
The band members of Lik have associations with Witchery, Bloodbath and many others. This experience shows in the tight play. The production quality is excellent too. Although the generic style is the same, the band can create a unique mood with each song as they do on “Left to Die”, whose deep growliness is like knives being sharpened. For the most part this is old school metal but with a rampant style, which gives each song a live feel. Lik don’t waste time and sometimes their songs can amount to short, if heavy short blasts. Or put another way, one short heavy blast leads into another. Give that drummer a break. Heavy, furious, melodic – it’s exciting. With the occasional break and smoky guitar solo, each song has colour and personality. In a slight break from tradition, “The Deranged” takes us down the musically darker side. Slower than its predecessors, it’s like the sound of cutting through a wall as the band penetrate the gloom. The theme is as grisly as ever, and in a “nice” touch, the sounds of horror can be heard all around it. This album is not particularly sophisticated but this is the sort of metal to captivate listeners and audiences. In amongst the nihilism, destruction and flesh-ripping themes, there are spoken parts, sirens, atmospheric sections of gloom and pungent metal promising a slow death or quick cuts, as you prefer.
This is a good band who know what they’re good at. “Carnage” is indeed just that, but never has carnage been so entertaining.
(8.5/10 Andrew Doherty)