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Overtorture boasts quite a lineup, featuring numerous veteran members in the death metal underground with past and present members of such influential bands as Grave and Demonical. With Swedish death metal starting to get pretty boring with the lack of any truly memorable releases, Overtorture‘s debut release, At the End the Dead Await promises to be one that will leave an impact on fans of this variant of old school death metal.
So I guess it isn’t all that surprising when similarities to forefathers of the genre such as Entombed and Grave are easily spotted as the album progresses. But what Overtorture presents here is a more dynamic sound. Rather than sticking to the d-beat, crusty sound that bands like Entombed have created, the band has instead attempted to give their music their own personality, all the while keeping the energy of the aforementioned and the aggression of bands like Bloodbath. For instance, the band includes moments of heavy melody at times throughout the album, like on the intro of album opener Black Shrouds of Dementia. There are moments as well where the band attempts to go into slightly technical death metal grounds with the complex riffs that are lightly littered throughout the album. Furthermore, the usage of trem-picked riffing at certain points of the album also bring in some Floridian death metal influences, and definitely helps in making their music sound slightly more interesting than the other bands playing music in similar veins.
The personal highlight over here is perhaps the drumming Fredrik, who provides lots of the energy and brutality especially on the slower parts of the album like on the starting moments of Slaves to the Atom. The guitar solos and lead guitars on the album also help to keep up that somewhat haunting and ominous atmosphere, despite not being anything particularly flamboyant or technical. These are also often done through the usage of clean guitars, like on The Outer Limits.
The production quality on the album is stellar as well, and allows for the full impact of the music to hit the listener without any mercy. Instead of having that usual abrasive tone that Swedish death metal has now become synonymous with, the band chooses a more crushing, ballsy tone that certainly works in their favour, all the while retaining the classic riffing styles of the genre. The somewhat bassy production also allows for the album to have a fuller and consequently heavier sound as well.
To be honest it has been awhile since a Swedish death metal album could have this much pull on me, and I often find myself going back to the album time and again for another dosage. At the End the Dead Await is certainly one of the better Swedish death metal albums that are released of late, and the lineup of Overtorture also proves their mastery of the genre with this release.