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I wasn’t overwhelmed by my first encounter with Entrails, the Reborn demo from ‘09. I heard the potential, but the sound issue and programmed drums ruined what chance it had to actually make an impact. That was the first released material since the band’s original formation back in 1990, and despite some recording sessions nothing was released and the act disbanded in 1998. But since the reformation (not entirely sure when that actually happened) the band’s definitely been going strong with the release of two demos, and now a debut fullength.
One of the first things I notice is that the sound’s definitely improved a lot, and the productions sounds quite typical for nowadays active old death metal bands. Luckily the drum machine’s gone, and session drumming was done by Fredrik Widigs, known for his blasting in acts like Soils of Fate, Vomitous, MP5K and Repulsive Dissection. But since Entrails is an actual old school death metal band you won’t hear any of his typical ultra-blasting here, but he actually keeps quite true to the original recipe.
Musically anyone will find similarities to Dismember, Nihilist and Entombed, which feel like the most commonly mentioned acts when discussing Swedish old school death metal. And well, this is just that; old school death metal, Swedish style, and the fact that the band has roots from back in the days make the traces of the early days blatantly obvious. But I think Entrails brings slightly more melody than ordinary, in the ways of guitar leads. Tales from the morgue is jam-packed with sleek and slick leads. Right from the get go we get thrown into one of the greatest and catchiest melodies in death metal history with Blood red, just fast-forward to 1:16 and you’ll know what I mean.
Voices isn’t really my cup of tea, simply for the slower tempo and too reminiscent feel of Dismember (I tell ya, I’ve never been as sold on them as everyone else). But the short blasting moment and the general fast-paced tempo of Entrails is enough to make me forget all about it. The morgue is the only other track to carry blast beats, and I can’t help but love it. And to showcase exactly what riff-machine Entrails is, you’ll find yet another wicked guitar lead and yet another wicked melody in the very same track. But I still have to say the closer The curse of death wins the battle of spookiest lead – the first minute is just unsurpassed.
The riffing really is top-notch from start to finish, and the guitar sound is chunky and sharp, with a buzzing undertone that brings a very heavy touch to the music. Mixing and mastering was handled by Dan Swanö, and he’s definitely done one hell of a job here as the sound is absolutely awesome all-around. And the vocals of Birdflesh’s own Jocke are top-notch as well. Truth be told this is undoubtedly one of the best Swedish old school death metal album’s to be released in ages, right up there with Interment’s latest. Fans of said band, alongside God Macabre, Bloodbath, the aforementioned Dismember and even Revolting should do themselves a favor and look up Entrails. I’m sold.
Originally written for My Last Chapter