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Swedish death metal done well - 71%

hammersmashedeverything, February 3rd, 2014

It seems a bit silly to call Blood Mortized a Swedish death metal supergroup, but you’d be forgiven for saying that at first glance. All of the members have previously played in already established death metal groups, with varying degrees of success, most notably drummer Pelle Ekegren playing on two Grave albums in the mid-2000’s and guitarist Anders Biazzi being an original member of melodic death metal giants Amon Amarth, playing on their classic debut Once Sent From the Golden Hall. Blood Mortized themselves play a brand of fairly typical Swedish death metal, pioneered by bands like Entombed and Dismember, with bands like Smothered and Entrails keeping the flag raised to this day, and Blood Mortized is a band who does it very well, as proven on their latest album The Demon, The Angel, The Disease.

Opener Bastard is a straight-forward opening track. This is in no way a criticism; it hits the listener in just the right place to get them involved in the album, and it hits that place fast. The violent riffing certainly grabs the attention, and crucially unlike many albums holds it with actually memorable riffs. With a gory b-movie horror music video, this is standard death metal, and it’s enjoyable. As the album progresses though, it becomes clear that isn’t quite as simple as it seems. It’s by no means a melodic death metal album, but The Demon, The Angel, The Disease does have an awful lot of very melodious riffs and guitar lines, like a more vicious incarnation of early Amon Amarth. Anders Biazzi clearly has plenty of those riffs left in him, and they are utilized to great effect here. Probably the most straight-up death metal song here is Noiseterror 08, and it’s also probably the least memorable and most skippable song here. Those melodic leads are clearly an advantage for the band.

The vocals are another key strong point here. Provided by Mattias Parkkila, also of Malfeitor, his voice is perfect for this style. Hoarse and ferocious, yet not too guttural for his voice to not smoothly fit with their mid-range guitar sound and still fairly understandable in terms of the delivery of the lyrics, it’s hard to imagine anyone else’s voice suiting the album in the same way. The songs themselves meanwhile do have some variety. The aforementioned melodic guitar lines move in and out of songs, and the thrashier songs like Bastard are counter-balanced by songs like the mid-paced My Soul, Your Flesh and the steady, unrushed closer I Leave With Hate. This song is of particular note, the band choosing to end the largely aggressive and typically death metal album with a song that’s a lot more resigned. Clean guitars make a rare appearance for the intro, before beginning its slow death march, coated with dramatic, even emotive leads. Even Parkkila moves from playing the part of the terrifying monster to that of the mournful victim. It’s worth noting that most bands playing this style of death metal can’t convey melancholy and genuine affecting emotion this well.

At the end of the day, The Demon, The Angel, The Disease is nothing that any fan of proper death metal hasn’t heard before. What it does do however is take the core ideas that have been there for years, and craft a set of plain great songs with them. Blood Mortized are certainly a band worth looking into, and one who deserve more attention.

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