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Mr Death has released this 10” MLP only a year after their debut full length album came out and I can tell that from the musical point of view “Death Suits You” is a rightful continuation of “Detached From Life”, but whether this material is better than the debut… well, here I have some doubts. Sure, it is still classic Swedish death metal playing, mainly influenced by Entombed, but you can also find here many similarities to Grave’s “Soulless” album, speaking of the overall grooviness and feeling of the riffs. Each of the six tracks from “Death Suits You” has some cool parts, they’re also relatively diverse – for instance “The Plague and the World It Made” is slightly slower and groovier, while “Strandead” starts with much faster type of riffing. I guess my favourite song would be “Celestial Suffering”, which really crushes with great parts and rotten atmosphere, this track really sounds like death metal devastation. The nicely doomy riff from the opening part of it is probably my favourite fragment of the whole MLP. At the same time the opening theme of “March to the Dark” sounds like it was taken directly from Entombed’s “Chief Rebel Angel” (and funny enough, also Sinners Burn has done exactly the same in “Buried in Barbed Wire” on their “Mortuary Rendezvous” album).
The production on the 10” is OK, maybe a bit too mouldy and somehow I feel like not aggressive enough, I can say that I liked the sound on “Detached From Life” more. With “Death Suits You” I have a feeling like something is missing here. The whole music sounds not effective enough, I lack some more aggression and maybe something else, which I cannot really describe, but it could be something what would rip my guts and slash the skin with every riff and drum beat. This feeling is growing in few less inspiring moments, when the music sounds slightly lifeless. And I really feel disappointed with the vocals, which I think were better on the debut album. I don’t know whether it’s the way the vocals have been recorded and mixed or maybe Jocke just growled in different way, but it’s not 100% right, in my opinion. They’re very shallow somehow!
The songwriting on “Death Suits You” is very solid, there are, as I already mentioned, many great fragments and generally I like the songs, but this MLP would be much better with more powerful sound and with more vicious vocals. That makes me feel slightly disappointed with this record.
Mr. Death might seem a rather cosmopolitan spin on the classic Swedish death metal genre, what with their bloodied suit corporate zombie gimmick. Of course, this is not entirely novel within extreme metal as a whole, but I rather enjoy it when a band cultivates such a combination of class and carnage. Musically, they're even less novel, yet another in an endless cycle of bands dredging up the old school 90s dirt of Entombed, Carnage, Dismember, Grave, and their ilk to once again ravage the living, but Mr. Death seem to have one thing going for them: they know how to pace themselves, offering just the right balance of faster and mid-paced murder and groove to remind the listener exactly what he or she loved about the country's take on the genre in the first place.
Death Suits You is a stopgap between full-length albums, following on the heels of last year's Detached from Life, a foul meaning if ultimately forgettable debut that served only to register them among the crop of nostalgic gravediggers that has exploded in recent years. No risks were taken, no brains consumed in its creation, but it was competent enough. The six songs here are not a major step away from that material, but I felt like the brooding, morbid grooves that cut through "Curse of the Masses", "The Plague and the World It Made", or "On Day 51" offer a glimpse at maturation alongside a faster moving, unbridled antiquity of the guitar riffing, very similar to how Entombed or Desultory expanded their sounds to incorporate a heavier rock and blues influence, more or less gimping themselves in the process. However, Mr. Death does not suffer the same problem, because they somehow keep the guitars on the course of evil, even with something like "Strandead", which surges back and forth from pure repulsion grind to a more uplifting, d-beat riff.
That said, I didn't like all of the songs here quite the same. Opener "March to the Dark" in particular seemed like it might foster some promise, but I found myself numbing to its flustered gait. On the other hand, "Celestial Suffering" musters a doom-like intro worthy of Wolverine Blues, followed by the requisite rock pacing and a series of riffs that just seem to escalate in quality until the unexpected, transcendent melodies that charge into the eventual burnout. With more songs of this quality, Mr. Death are apt to turn a lot of heads loose from their sockets, since there is something more here than the tedium of the genre's unending saturation. Time will tell if the band follows up on these traces of potential, or if they whittle away into the shadows of overpopulation, but Death Suits You is only recommended to those who can't get enough of the style, hunting for slight variations on an apparently infinite theme.