‘Into The Meat Grinder’ is the début album by this 6 year old Swedish quintet comprising of guitarists William Persson Öberg and Sofus Stille, bassist Korp Thidrandir, drummer Marre Kadhammar and vocalist Robert “Rio” Karlsson.
After the 3 second opening roar, the drums and guitars kick into life and “Tank Corps Unleashed” begins the unrelenting destruction that shall follow in its wake.
The slow death metal delivered is certainly not doom, but rather an intensely heavy “Black Twisted” and extremely angry attack on the senses, and when they speed things up with a battering drum salvo, it feels even heavier.
“Stench Of Guts” is a slightly livelier tune and for that reason doesn’t feel as oppressively heavy, even if the subject matter makes it so nevertheless.
You can hear the rattling of the bass strings under the guitar harmonies on “Zaamurets”, as the driving drums work their way through the song before the slower but heavier “Where Men Are Made And Undone” has them pummelled, letting the guitars take on an airier riffing and almost melodic leads.
The vocals growl at a sedate tempo on “Shtrafbat” as the guitars and drums rush on at a more manic pace, while on “Meat Grinder” the vocals are substantially faster, but then so are the guitars and straight ahead ploughing of the drums.
There are passages on this album which feel claustrophobic and crushing, which is no doubt the intent, with “Panzerfaust Sacrifice” slowing building towards that end.
The aural assault of “Bones of the conquered” eases during a short-lived bridge in the middle of the song before a rapid lead guitar raises the pace and intensity of the song to match the seriousness of the lyrics which are slowly growled out.
They end the album with the lumbering “Beneath Freezing Waves”, which has a heavy plodding feel as the throb of the bass cuts through the guitars and drums and slow drawn out growls, until about halfway through when the pace increases as do the anxiety levels of the protagonists of the song.
What they may lack in outright speed they more than make up for with sheer riff weight and deep throaty growls, along with lyric content that is anything but light reading really. Really easy album to enjoy, especially if you have ever enjoyed anything by Bolt Thrower.
(8/10 Marco Gaminara)