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Great Swedish death metal, NOT retro-swedish DM - 85%

dipym666, October 20th, 2014

It’s 2014 and there’s no way better to start the year by reviewing one of the promising newer “old school” death metal bands – Decomposed. Their debut album was one of the highlights in 2012 as they were able to produce the near perfect death metal sound on that one. Their self titled album was more than welcome at a time when quality death metal releases are getting drying up pretty fast (or stale releases piling up by the ton). Devouring takes it up a notch higher in terms of musicianship and production. At its heart it is Swedish death metal albeit without the trademark buzzsaw tone. Any classic Swedish death metal fanatic will be able to identify the influences of the godfathers – Entombed, Dismember, Carnage, Nihilist and the like but in addition there are strains of Autopsy that add to the album a creepy atmosphere, case in point “Bloodsoaked Disarray”. Tell me, don’t you hear “In the Grip of Winter” in there?

Songs like “Devouring” and “Voices of Endless Decay” are based on the song structures of the typical Swedish death metal classics, riff for riff. Another trait to be taken note here that Decomposed spend less time in creating the ominous atmosphere that old Swedish death metal perfected in the form of creepy melodies by virtue of guitars and/or keyboards. That is substituted by a in your face attack of riffs and a great production that surpasses their debut. It’s meatier and also crystal clear. “Boiling Blood” is bit of a nice surprise here, an instrumental that is downright haunting and beautifully done. In a way it provides an opportunity for the listener to soak in the first part of the album. That leaves room for three more and out of those “Ode to the End” and “From the Darkness” drives home the message that this album is going to end on a high note. That brings me to the concluder “Decomposition”, the surprise package of the album which leans towards the doomy side of metal that cements the rock solid quality of the album.

So, in short this is Swedish death metal as its best. For a genre that saturated ages ago, Decomposed manage to keep things interesting by doing the simplest thing – indulge in good songwriting. Now that’s a big surprise, isn’t it, duh? In my opinion among the new crop of bands like Harm, Brutally Deceased, Morbider, Entrails, Undead Creep, Smothered and others, Decomposed manage to get away by keeping things a little darker and doomy. Staying on that note I think it’s a blessing in disguise (or intentional?) that Decomposed gave up the Swedish buzzsaw tone and may be that has allowed them to add their own spin to it. If you love your Dismember and Entombed then this is for you.

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