Those familiar with the career of Anders Biazzi, know he’s one of the premier death metal riff maestros active today, and his Blood Mortized and Just Before Dawn material offer ample proof of said mastery. Recently Mr. Biazzi decided to close shop on Blood Mortized and launch a new project called Gods Forsaken with the help of death drumming institution, Brynjar Helgetun (The Grotesquery, Megascavenger etc.) and well-traveled vocal demon, Jonny Pettersson (Wombath, Just Before Dawn, et al). We’re a bit late in covering their debut In a Pitch Black Grave, but don’t take that as apathy or indifference. This is yet another tooth kicking, gut stomping slab of mega-heavy Swede-death mixed with Bolt Thrower worship and it exists only to scour your soul, scrape your ear canals and pulverize your kidney stones (thanks for that last one, by the way).

Anders wastes no time putting the boot to you with the opening title track’s vicious riffage, propulsive, unrelenting momentum and root-cellar dweller death vocals sure to please even the most elitist death troll. Sure, some riffs recall the halcyon days of Entombed and Dismember, but there’s an awful lot of Bolt Thrower here, especially when they slow things down at the song’s mid-point for some ten-megaton grinding. This all calls to mind Gatecreeper‘s recent opus, and that’s a very good thing. “By Hate He Comes” follows with a more typical d-beat drive-by, but it’s a particularly savage and pummeling one with excellently savage vocals by Pettersson, and “Ashes of the Dead” robs the best parts of Clandestine‘s crypt for a sodwolloping beat down full of slashing riffs and thunderous drumming.

“Curse of the Serpent” is an album high point, starting life with a tasty riff Unleashed should have penned in 1993, and the berserk vocals just keep getting more frantic and incoherent as things rip along. The unhinged nature of the song brings it close to vintage Desaster for over-the-top insanity, and that means a ton o’ fun. There’s even a bit or Morbid Angel‘s “Where the Slime Live” style ooze mixed in for extra viscosity and infectiousness. Later cut “Souls Torn Apart” rolls like a Panzer division over all your earthly belongings, only to pause long enough to uncork an unexpected and striking melodic solo full of emotion, which really stands out on an album full of unbridled aggression and rage.

At a tight 42 minutes, In a Pitch Black Grave is a frenetic, entertaining slap in the face with an iron fist ov steel. Most of the songs run between 3-4 minutes, delivering a fast attack aural wedgie you’ll be hard-pressed to unwedgify. Besides the highly enjoyable song craft, the biggest asset here is the production. This album sounds exactly how a death metal album should. The guitar ruthlessly oppresses your rights and freedoms and the drums feel like a massed artillery battery blasting away with bloodthirsty abandon. There’s a fat low-end thud grounding everything and the overall balance is just right.

Mr. Biazzi demonstrates yet again that he’s a living, breathing riff factory, and through his caustic leads, all the demons of Sunlight Studios come crashing back into this dimension like Lovecraft’s hideous elder gods. Yet this feels heavier and more powerful than the typical Entombed clone. The thick, diesel-powered riffage could join the battle on any Bolt Thrower platter and hold their own. Anders also handles the bass and gives the music a meaty foundation upon which to construct his barbed wire riff edifices. Jonny Pettersson is a first-rate death croaker and delivers the goods with a phlegmy, crusty and demonic performance that perfectly complements the hostile music. Gurgling, gargling, caterwauling, screeching – he does it all with power and lunatic glee. As always, Brynjar Helgetun scorches the countryside with a thunderous turn on the kit and the drum sound is particularly powerful and satisfying. This is a band of seasoned veterans and it shows on every song.

Gods Forsaken is doing absolutely nothing new but they nail this classic style so hard and so righteously, lack of originality doesn’t matter quite as much. Even in a time when there’s a endless supply of Swede-death acts buzzing around the scene’s carcass, this sticks out and somehow even manages to feel refreshing. This is headbanging, face-melting death metal to buoy the spirit and anger up the blood, with no pretensions and zero innovations. It’s just you and the remorseless wargrinder, face to face on a muddy, corpse-strewn no man’s land. Resist you must not.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 1411 kbps
Label: Soulseller Records
Releases Worldwide: June 9th, 2017


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  • Nathan McCain

    Druhm! Once again I must bow to your judgement on power metal. Excalion was a damn fine listen, very tasty melodies there. Can’t wait to check out the above album!

  • Wes Allen

    Mr. Biazzi knows just what the boys at AMG need. Three cheers for death metal done right.

    • ssorg


  • Ivan E. Rection

    That growl at 1:22 is a real sphincter-stretcher.

  • Drew Music

    What the fuck, there are ads among us! We need PC Principal, STAT!

    • Nukenado

      This one hasn’t evolved to be that advanced yet.

      • Drew Music

        It’s still “Kill ’em all” in my eyes, I’ve been reporting them all out of spite.

  • ssorg

    Ooooooh those rifs! that HM-2! The vocals! The perfect antidote for ad-induced rage.

    • We are working on ridding ourselves of these ads ASAP.

      • Drew Music

        Godspeed, sir.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Damn. I really wanted to find out how to reduce belly fat with this one weird trick.

        • Grimstrider

          You sure? Cause it’s *really* weird. Like, must register as a sex offender in all 50 states and the island nation of Pitcairn weird. Also, it might require the blood sacrifice of a loved one. But my abs are fuckin’ awesome!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Too many tricks. I’ll just stop eating Poutine.

          • Drew Music

            But what will he have to say about that?

          • Monsterth Goatom


      • [not a Dr]

        That’s what happens when you threaten to replace Sentynel with Abbath.

  • ssorg

    I’m kinda surprised you didn’t mention the subtle and surprising foray into melodeath (or is it melodic BM?) in “An Odyssey of Broken Bones”. Man, I have to get my hands on this album… shame it’s not on Bandcamp

    • Biazzi

      Check it out on Spotify!

      • ssorg

        Ah just got it on iTunes. Great shit, man.

  • Dethjesta

    Today AMG is marketing Swedish Death metal, Starbuck’s Coffee, some sort of weight loss tablet and an article about how Victoria Beckham became the richest woman in the world.


    • Have you seen our vast selection of hobo wines?

      • Nag Dammit

        Ahh, Mad Dog 20/20. The perfect Essex school boy / hobo refreshment. One sometimes leads to the other.

        • Mollusc

          As an ex-Essex school boy I would like to say that neither I nor any of my peers (that I know of) ever refreshed a hobo.

          • Did you ever ride the Night Train? Drive a Thunderbird? Kiss a Wild Irish Rose?

          • Mollusc

            Stop it, I’m blushing.

          • Nag Dammit

            That was their payment for buying the booze and cigs for us. Desperate times.

          • Mollusc

            No shame in that, far be it for me to judge (he says staring from an upstairs window as he slowly lets the net curtain fall back into place).

    • Tofu muncher

      sorry but what’s all this about ads? None appears on my screen. Should be I thanking the lord jorn or felt left out? Great music this is btw.

  • I’d been waiting for something to pulverize those kidney stones!

  • Brutalist_Receptacle


  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Am I the only one who read “Panzer division” and thought “Marduk” was missing from the sentence?

  • sir_c

    You said it well: the riffs are nice and meaty. If the embedded vid is representative for the rest, then I’m happy. Instant buy :-)

    • They’re all in the same battle formation.

  • Dobbie03

    Loving this!! My type of Death Metal, groovy yet still brutal.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I had to google “sodwolloping” and the only result I got was a link to this review.

  • basenjibrian

    Death Foods and Death Metal! I welcome the arrival of our new Targeted Advertising Masters!

  • Morbidly Obese Angel

    This is pretty damned good. Would definitely like to hear more of this album but don’t think I can bring myself to cough up $21 bucks plus another $25 in international shipping fees for one CD.

    Seriously! Why are there still bands and/or labels that refuse to sell music digitally?

    • ssorg

      It’s on iTunes… better than nothin’

  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    I much love this album. Feels old and good.

    • ssorg

      Listening nonstop for the last week. An easy 4, maybe 4.5 for me. When you get it dead right, it’s worth something.

  • Only appreciable Swe-Death reivial bands for me are Demonical, Evocation, Deathevokation, and Bloodbath. Other bands are nothing special. Do you really need it?

    • Biazzi

      Listen to the whole album and come back to me again 😂

  • John Mosley

    Remove these ads. Open a merch store. More money and happier readers.