Whoa, it’s quite a surprise to see a new Interment album in 2016 considering they were a contemporary of Entombed and Dismember back in the early days of the Swede-core death scene, but didn’t release anything until 2010. Now we get the followup a scant 6 years later? Major machinations are clearly underway at Camp Interment and their production schedule is definitely ramping up! Their long-delayed debut was an above average dose of D-Beat death with nary a trace of originality or nuance, and though it didn’t garner much attention, it was an enjoyable nod to the past at a time when looking back was all the rage. Since then we’ve been deluged with one retro-death platter after another until it seems there’s no place left to hide from the buzzing, swarming Sunlight Studio sound. Into this massively overcrowded field comes Scent of the Buried, and I’m sure for many it’s about as welcome as a tray of pickled pigs’ feet at a swanky cotillion. Them’s the breaks for a band with such tragic timing, but how does the music stack up to their endless competitors?
Well, it’s exactly what you expect from this genre, from the buzz-rich guitar tone to the undercurrent of phlegm and filth the style requires – it’s all here. In fact, it’s so effective you can practically feel the stickiness of the beer and piss soaked studio floor this thing was likely recorded on. However, authentic is one thing, essential is quite another. Songs like opener “Death and Decay” roars out of 1992 with a lot of energy and vigor, checking all the boxes and providing some knuckle headed death fun with righteously discordant, frazzled solo work. “Sinister Incantation” and “Chalice of Death” both do the Left Hand Path thing quite well, with the latter especially hitting on some nifty groove-riff pieces.
Other solid moments include the hideous title track which borrows heavily from vintage Grave for a nasty, muddy slog through the killing fields of the past; “Rise of the Dead” and its weird, unsteady riffs, and “Dawn of Blasphemy” which brings the hammer down with stomping, pounding leads that make you feel oppressed and in need of a safe space.
None of the songs are filler, but “Repugnant Funeral” and “Skull Crushing Carnage” end up less interesting and feel like another face in the vast crowd that is Swedish death. At a short 39 minutes, Scent of the Buried is the optimal length and breezes by quickly due to the short song lengths. The production is muddy and fuzzy in a good way, and though it’s mixed a bit too loud, you’ve heard a lot worse.
This is expectedly a very riff dependent endeavor, and Johan Jansson knows his way around the vintage sound. Along with battery-mate Toob Brynedal they conjure up some tasty throwback riffs. I especially like the twitchy solo-work they employ with its slight horror movie vibe. The one knock against them is the lack of variation in tempo for much of the album. There’s a lot of mid-paced chugging which sounds nasty and heavy but can get a bit tedious. Jansson has a respectable death roar well suited to the genre and he often sounds similar to Grave‘s Ola Lindgren. He isn’t going to win Gurgler o’ the Year, but he gets the job done and then some.
This is such a D-beaten-to-death style, you’re forced to look for things that make a band stand out from the pack and there just isn’t much here to distinguish Interment. Scent of the Buried can be enjoyed for what it is, but it feels like an album you spin for a few days then put aside and forget about. That’s a shame because if this came out in 93 or even 2012, it would have had a lot more impact. Timing is everything, folks, even with retro-whatever.