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Sweden is testing the limits - 65%

autothrall, November 14th, 2009

I'm not sure how many old school death metal revival bands a single European nation can produce, but Sweden is testing the limits. Daemonicus is another in a long line of bands to form up in these past few years, forsaking the melodic side of the style for a trip down murder lane, to when bands like Entombed, Grave, Dismember, Unleashed and Grotesque were the cutting edge. Host of Rotting Flesh is the band's debut, after forming in 2006 and releasing a trio of demos. The album has left little impact on me, but there is certainly a wealth of old school fanatics who will chew it up for its sincerity.

To their credit, Daemonicus do not simply sound like another band ripping off the old 'Swedish' sound. When listening to this album, you would not mistake it for Left Hand Path. What this band creates has an even more primal sound to it, very simple bludgeoning death metal which recalls the days of the genre's youth. The riffs tend to range from slow grooves and slower, flowing death metal chords (ala "Carnage") to slightly faster death ("Unrest In Peace") which reminds me of early Florida style, Death, for example. Vocalist
Stefan Hagström has a deep, gruff throat which doesn't stand out much, but fits the riffs well enough. One of the band's stronger points is their capacity to create those good olde schoo, creepy leads which so few bands produce these days. There is nothing flashy or technical here, just a love of roots death metal. Of the stronger songs here, I'd choose the gloomy "Welcome the Dead" and the creepy doomlike "Swarm of Death" as the standouts.

Host of Rotting Flesh also boasts a very humble production, that dark and ominous jam room tone which dominated the proto-death of the very early 90s. There are no annoying grooves or breakdowns, nothing cheap or insincere about what they do. I didn't enjoy many of the songs, but there's nothing particularly negative to report about this. If you favor the really true, old sounding death metal which has recently seen a comeback, Daemonicus is at least worth a listen.