Swedish Death Metal

Interment – Into the Crypts of Blasphemy Review

Interment – Into the Crypts of Blasphemy Review

Here we go again. I have in front of me the new album Into the Crypts of Blasphemy by long, LONG time members of the old school Swedish death metal scene, Interment. These guys existed in the late 80s/early 90s alongside the forefathers of the genre like Entombed, Grave and Dismember, but other than a few demos and such, this is their first real release. So where are we going again exactly? Bear with me and all will be revealed.

Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast Review

Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast Review

Wow. So, it’s been like 10 years since I’ve listened to Soilwork and it turns out that they don’t sound at all even remotely the same. Sometimes a band falls off your radar and you don’t even think about them at all and honestly, Soilwork is one such band. Now, it’s probably not a surprise to anyone else but I was in utter shock when I turned on The Panic Broadcast to discover that the Gothenburg sound had totally been replaced by eurocore! See, now you’re laughing at my ignorance, but I’m a bit surprised. See, in Angry Metal World, the last record that Soilwork released was actually The Chainheart Machine in 2000. And back then, these guys were playing a not-entirely-novel, but very, very good version of the Gothenburg sound. Turns out in the much lamer real world Soilwork has had a bunch of records and gotten a new vocal style, a new sound and hyper-produced.

Witchery – Witchkrieg Review

Witchery – Witchkrieg Review

Hey, turns out that Witchery is releasing a new record in a few days. Far be it from me to not review this monster of a super group, especially given the news that got everyone pretty worked up: ex-Marduk vocalist Legion joined the band on vocals. Not only does this cement the band as serious super group (now sporting members or former members from Opeth, Seance, Bloodbath, Arch Enemy, Marduk, Devian, Spiritual Beggar, The Haunted, and Satanic Slaughter), but it adds a well-known quantity to the band. Turns out that Swedish scene is a tad bit inbred. But does this kind of caliber, and a back catalogue of well loved records mean that Witchery will hit home anew with their deathy brand of thrash metal in 2010.

Grave – Burial Ground Review

Grave – Burial Ground Review

It seems safe to say that after surviving 22 years, Grave has become an official death metal institution as well as being one of the founding fathers of the classic “Swedish death metal sound,” along with Entombed, Unleashed and Dismember. Therefore, when the esteemed Grave Institute releases a new album, long time and newbie death heads alike should sit up and take notice. Burial Ground is album number eight for these long running purveyors of deathly tidings and being their usual consistent, quality selves, this is a solid, old school slice of vintage Swedish death metal but with a few surprises as well.

Aeon – Path of Fire Review

Aeon – Path of Fire Review

Swedish death metal, I mean real Swedish death metal with the legacy of brutality that everyone can identify in the form of (insert your favorite Swedish death metal bands here) lives on in Aeon, a band that hails from Östersund a city in Jämtland (which is basically in the mountains and towards the Norwegian border). Astersund, while not known for its thriving metal scene, has indeed birthed one of Sweden’s current and most brutal death metal bands who were signed to Metal Blade and released an album a couple of years ago entitled Rise to Dominate which really excited fans of the tech and (more-or-less) brutal styles of death metal. I believe when I was introduced to them the words “fucking ridiculous” were definitely involved somewhere in that conversation.

Ruined Soul – My Dying Day Review

Ruined Soul – My Dying Day Review

Ruined Soul is a one-man project firmly based in the Gothenburg scene. Johnny Johansson apparently missed the scene because of his age, but having learned from the best (and right in his backyard, as it were) he has produced a record that wouldn’t have been out of place in 1999, released alongside Colony by In Flames or Projector by Dark Tranquillity. With a whole slough of big named guests from the Swedish scene and one Andy La Roque as the prodcer, it’s hard to imagine how a record like this could go wrong. Right? .. Right!?

Arise – The Reckoning Review

Arise – The Reckoning Review

Arise was a little late on the uptake on the first go around of the Gothenburg sound, forming in 1996, but really getting their first demo out there in 1998 and getting signed about the time that all the death metal elitists I knew were already writing off the sound as “done”. However, unlike most of the bands from that era, they are still alive and kicking and putting out music of the style that was popular at the time. There’s some confusion about this record, which according to some sources came out last year, but it’s being promoted right now by Regain with a release date of the 22nd of March (which means it’s out now). It has, indeed, been a few years since Arise put out their last album, but even with the departure of two members, they don’t seem to have lost any steam.

Trident – World Destruction Review

Trident – World Destruction Review

An outgrowth of the ideas of a former Dissection guitarist (Johan Norman) and a couple of members of the band Necrophobic, Trident hits the stores on the 22nd of March throughout Europe and hits a totally virgin audience. These guys pretty much came out of nowhere, having basically played locally in Sweden and apparently they circulated a demo or something that got them picked up by Regain. Formed in 2007, Trident is a blackened death band in the veins of the aforementioned bands and is yet another Swedish assault on Christendom and the senses that will surely inflame passion in some corners.

Unleashed – As Yggdrasil Trembles Review

Unleashed – As Yggdrasil Trembles Review

Unleashed is not without their appeal. They’ve been around for a couple decades now, putting out their first record Where No Life Dwells in 1991, and they’ve been pretty consistently well-respected in the scene for being among the first to do the whole Viking Metal thing. But they’re a band that this Angry Metal Guy has never been able to get into on the basis of one thing: Unleashed is the Manowar of death metal. Now, some people are going to say “But Manowar are the Kings of Metal! Should we not be praising Unleashed for translating such kinglyness into the Death Metal genre?” To which there can only be one response: “Absofuckinglutely not.”

Dark Tranquillity – We Are the Void Review

Dark Tranquillity – We Are the Void Review

Dark Tranquillity is a living legend. Don’t kid yourselves: they’re a band that has managed to maintain their credibility in a scene where many of the bands that have stayed around have lost that credibility (see: In Flames). They have consistently put out good records, even into their less progressive era, that excite their fanbase and and attract new fans with their catchy melodies, creative arrangements and the energy of their music. There are, however, two sides to Dark Tranquillity’s music. The first is a fast, heavy melodic style of thrashy death metal that has long been associated with them and the Gothenburg death metal scene. The second, and the part that has long appealed to us personally, is the blackness and dark emotional content that borders on gothic metal. We Are the Void embodies both of these sides and may be the darkest album the band has produced since the much-maligned Projector.