Ah Ok! Alex Hellid has been left alone while the other four members of Entombed decided to leave the band to form Entombed A.D. with a new [ugly] logo and some new music. Entombed, the band that has always stood as one of the greatest Swedish Death Metal acts of all time is an important band, not only in their genre-bringing country but in the whole world of Metal. Many fans recognize Entombed with their early ground-breaking albums such as Left Hand Path, Clandestine and Wolverine Blues, which have all been released in the early 90s and gained some huge success for the band. In later years Entombed decided to add some rock vibes to their music and turned to Death ‘n’ Roll, which also gained some serious attention.
Now, seven years after releasing the acclaimed Serpent Saints – The Ten Amendments in 2007, the wait is over and Entombed returns with a brand new album Back to the Front. Entombed which is now identified as Entombed A.D. (better to skip the story behind this transition) has the same Entombed line-up minus Alex Hellid and consists of L-G Petrov (Vocals), Nico Elgstrand (Guitars), Olle Dahlstedt (Drums), Victor Brandt (Bass). For some reason “Back to the Front” can be marked as a love-it-or-hate-it album. But for old-school fans it could still be a decent experience. The first obvious thing that comes from the album in the first listen is Entombed A.D. wants to start a music project that sounds heavy, which waves the flag of old school Death Metal. It looks like a great decision that Entombed A.D. has made. Listen to uncountable bands that have come aboard in recent years, who want to keep the sound of old school Death Metal alive. To name a few Slaugherday (Germany), Monumentomb (UK), Bombs of Hades (Sweden), Ignivomous (Australia) and Entrails (Sweden), out of which the last one is highly inspired by the early Entombed. So there would be no better choice for Entombed A.D. to pack their instruments, having some time-travel to their roots of face-breaking Death Metal.
Recently, it’s become more and more apparent to me that the UK has some of the best metal bands in the world. Of course, the UK is where the roots of heavy metal were first sprung so it shouldn’t be that surprising. What *is* surprising though is the number of quality metal bands that keep springing up out of the country.
Liber Necris is one such example. A Leeds based band, they call themselves death metal, but personally I would go a little bit further than that and categorize them as more blackened thrash then death metal. Vocally I can see where the death metal comparison comes in, but musically this is thrash with more black than death metal elements thrown in.
While Negative Creator consists of only 4 songs, it is definitely something you do not want to miss: 18 minutes of metal infused with rage and hate. Despite this intensity, the album also manages to add in some doom infused parts as well in certain songs.
Misery Index is one of those bands who has not put a foot wrong in their career. Since their early days back in 2001 with their first EP Overthrow, they have shown they are ready to blast every single note, transforming it into the most brutal thing you’ve ever heard and their fifth album The Killing Gods is nothing but the same astonishing brutal visions they had kept through their four previous albums.
The first thing you notice in The Killing Gods is the two instrumental short songs “Urfaust,” the first song and “The Oath,” the third. “Urfaust” is a great and interesting intro and has a tune that we haven’t heard too often from Misery Index, “melodic”! And this song is like a secret message for the listeners, you are going to have a melodic album on your hands. But it doesn’t mean there’s no longer brutality in the album. Even though “Urfaust” is a minute long song but with its melodic construction acts like a bridge to the next song and it demonstrates the second song’s attitude, “The Calling,” which is constructed with an intro of attacking blastbeats that lead us to some Thrashy riffs but is melodic and groovy at the same time. The third song, “The Oath,” consists of thrilling dissonant guitar arpeggio surrounded by ravens sounds, which makes this track so dark and atmospheric, carrying us to the fourth song, “Conjuring the Cull.” Once again filled-with-brutal-riffs but in a more Thrashy way with a touch of guitar arpeggio from the third song are present in this song, which shows the band connecting their songs with similar riffs and melodies.
Black Anvil, the New York Based Blackened Thrash Metal act is ready to return with a brand new album Hail Death. This would be their third one after releasing two albums Time Insults the Mind in 2008 and Triumvirate in 2010. Band started their career with a sound more inspired from the Hardcore music scene which they actually came from. Playing in a bunch of NYC Hardcore bands (the most famous one being the legendary Kill Your Idols, this made their debut album sound a little Hardcore-like yet Blackened Thrash. On the second album, Triumvirate, they appeared to have a less Hardcore/Thrash tune and focused more on Black Metal atmosphere, which allowed them to successfully create the sound they had been looking for. But after four years since their last album, by their third album they don’t want to focus on a specific genre yet it seems they’re still looking a bit more to construct their music on Black Metal basis.
On Hail Death you can feel the band’s music is getting more dynamic, as well as exploring and experiencing some new sounds in songwriting. With addition of Sos, the fourth member as the second guitar player, band show that they’re interested to expand the progression of writing heavy music, sounding bulky and strong both on studio albums and live performances. In contrast with the two previous albums, Hail Death has longer songs, the opening and ending tracks “Still Reborn” and “Next Level Black” are respectively 9 and 11 minutes long. Writing longer songs lets the band have enough time to seek in riffs, tempos and tunes.