If you didn’t know, and as the band is often criminally overlooked there’s a good chance you didn’t, Wombbath have been producing some of the gnarliest Swedish death metal since 1992 however, this here album is only the band’s third full length.
Hakan Stuvemark and the lads have not been sat on their arses mind you, having put out three split 7” with Revel In Flesh, Departed Souls and Obscure Infinity since 2015’s killer “Downfall Rising” LP.
Hakan himself has already released records with Pale King and the excellent Skineater this year and vocalist Jonny Pettersson is approaching Rogga Johannson levels of productivity with albums by Just Before Dawn, Ursinne, Nattraven, Ashcloud, Gods Forsaken, Pale King and his frankly amazing solo project Henry Kane over the last couple of years.
Opener “Embrace Death” comes flying at you like some relentless death metal face hugger and refuses to let go for nearly five minutes of hyper aggressive riffing and squealing leads. I’d have been happy enough with a whole album of this sort of thing but no….. Wombbath have a few tricks up their sleeve!
The album’s title track is up next and reminds me of early Hypocrisy. Jonny’s vocals are terrifying on here and he sounds exactly like the rampant hairy Swedish sasquatch that he is! (sorry mate). “Footsteps Of Armageddon” is a much more measured, slower track with a dark and foreboding vibe. The multi layered vocals here sound great and add to the atmosphere. “Born Of Filth” illustrates just how good Wombbath’s songwriting is. Full on mid-paced death metal punishment before throwing you a total curveball in the form of a melodic, almost Amorphis like “bit” at about 1m20s. You’d think this would sound out of place wouldn’t you but no! It totally fits in with the song and really piqued my interest. Another standout track for me is “Hail The Obscene” with an eerie intro evolving into a very dark and ominous 6m + death metal epic.
“Harvester Of Sin” is the perfect closer, fast, abrasive and almost punky in its vibe. It reminds you exactly who Wombbath are and gives you a proper pummelling before it fucks off down the ‘Spoons.
“The Great Desolation” is a total banger. Any death metal fan worth their salt will love this and it cements Wombbath alongside Paganizer as probably the most relevant bands in the Swedish death metal scene right now.
(9/10 Mark Eve)