To quote the vastly talented tattoo artist Curly Moore “addiction implies a lack of control” alas bringing this theory into the practice of my own Death Metal lusts I fear that control is at my folly. Try as I might Death Metal is my sole anticipation of musical delight, each new release I await with baited breath waiting to witness the twists and turns of the ever evolving genre. From its very roots through the ghastly days of Deathcore and even now to the vast and flooded present. Yet what can still be seen to a sick horror freak such as myself?
In the gargantuan mind of Death Metal master Rogga Johansson comes a flare of Swedish Death Metal might. Under the banner of Xtreem Music and featuring ex-Paganizer bassist Dennis Blomberg, and a fresh drummer Henke Lundgren Grisly rises. A powerful light to the hordes of the old school through the aptly named The Spectral Wars a debut that aims to keep the decaying corpse of Death Metal pulsing with vermin, a food to the maggots and an offering to the deranged.
If you’ve come here for Death Metal then you’ll be pleased, whilst this may not take the more cavernous orthodox route of other up and coming trve Death Metal acts it certainly packs a punch. This is Death Metal torn straight from the late 80s/ early 90s vicious, Thrash driven barbarity that repulses, stuns and captivates the listener. Rot To The Living, Parasite Parasite, Bring Out The Horrors and Supernatural Warfare all bring a massive vomit ridden sound in the old school vocals, crushing guitars and pummelling drums.
There is very little time for filler as each track possesses the fleshless form wielding an otherworldly power of catchy Death Metal oblivion. Memorable and exceptional there is very little wrong with this release, in fact I would easily site it as a pinnacle for modern old school Death Metal, The Spectral Wars accessible nature of audible vocals, mesmerizing riffs and hell risen drums invoked a feeling within me that I have seldom felt since my inception into the halls of Death Metal, feeding my haggard addiction and overcoming all expectations.
Gruesome may well be seen as the kings of the old school sound with their masterful Death worship but rearing up from behind come Grisly with their unique twist on the modern sound of old school revival. Is this one of the best Death Metal albums of 2018? That is hard to say but currently it is certainly a contender, an unexpected treasure hauled from the grave of the forefathers of Death Metal.
(9/10 George Caley)