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Groove Metal, not Death Metal - 80%

TheSkrypter, November 1st, 2012

OK, first thing you have to do when you listen to this album for the first time is to decide whether you want to listen to “typical” Entombed material or not. If you know that Entombed released some damn good old school Swedish death metal material (“Left Hand Path”, “Clandestine”) and pioneered the death’n’roll movement with pretty good quality (“Wolverine Blues”, “Uprising”, “Inferno”), you might pick this one up and expect something in between. Well, if you do, you’ll be completely wrong. “Same Difference” is an album which carries the name Entombed, but is absolutely far off any sort of death metal sound. This is an album that you do not keep alongside other Entombed albums, because this is a groove’n’roll metal album. If you listen to it expecting death metal related stuff, you’ll be bitterly disappointed. If, on the other hand, you approach this album for what it really is, a groove’n’roll metal piece, then you’ll see it isn’t that bad of an effort.

Why is it groove’n’roll? Well, because there is that rock and roll feel throughout the entire album, provided by the paced drums, the pummeling repetitive guitars and the swingy mood they convey. Apart from that, there is that heavy down-tuned feel portrayed by the atmosphere created around every single track, one that will resemble something in the vein of a slowed down The Haunted from the “The Dead Eye” era (the songs “Clauses” and “Kick in the Head” being fit examples), or even a spaced out Pantera from their mid 1990’s works (in songs like “Same Difference” or “High Waters”). You will eventually find yourself nodding confidently to these tunes, because they invade your brain and linger inside addictively.

The oddest element in this album, and the one that reminds you that the band playing is actually Entombed, is L-G’s voice. He does what he does best, screaming his lungs out in a strong fluent shout, eventually using a clean discursive speech tone like in “Kick in the Head” or “Smart Aleck”. The problem is that a good number of songs have a paced down tone and slow tempo which render quite unfit L-G’s otherwise excellent vocals – it’s as if he were doing the right thing, but the instruments were not getting where he wants them to get.

The riffs are catchy and groovy throughout, even though there are some songs in which the choruses and bridges eclipse the riffs. The solos are short lived and tend to flow naturally into the progress of the rhythmic sections, which turns out to be a dynamic factor is some songs, like “What you need”. The bass is very active and stands out quite often, not just following the guitars, helping to envelope the whole atmosphere in a groovy and heavy enough spirit – never running, always methodic and encompassed. The drums are pure groove, no double bass stand out, no high speed anywhere; instead, lots of blasts and mid or slow tempo sections. They don’t bring anything new to the album, but fit perfectly the rest of the instruments.

The lyrics are quite plain. The main focus is on personal struggles and subjective themes, which, again, fits the groove mood of the album.

All in all, this is a fun album to listen to if you want something heavy enough to help you cope with some raw energy within, but within certain controlled range of rage and fury. “Same Difference” is an album to listen to on the go, alongside The Haunted, Pantera, The Defaced or Corporation 187.