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A landmark in Swedish Death Metal - 96%

Tale_of_the_Hellship, June 26th, 2005

At a time when death metal was still looking for recognition, Swedish band Nihilist changed their name, grabbed some old demos and proceeded to recording an album. The result was yet one of the most influential albums in the history of swedish death metal, or even the whole death metal scene. Left Hand Path mixed the relentless thrashy aggression and riffage of floridian death metal with a healthy dose of groove and a bit of experimentalism. The album kicks in with a scream, followed by a powerful solo and then... then you hear it... that GUITAR TONE. Damnit, this album has one of the best guitar tones ever heard in death metal. It's heavy as fuck, really low-tuned and sounds more evil than any DM band could ever dream to do. Then the album carries on, with sheer brutality attacking you from every corner, while singer LG-Petrov vomits his inhuman old-school growls without allowing you to breathe. Riff after riff, there is no stop to this monster of an album. The drumming is top-notch as well; Nicke Anderson is one of the few drummers who can write great songs and also play really well. Really powerful and aggressive blastbeats that go along with a great technique. Incredible.

However, there's still one thing that makes this album stand out above all the other DM releases that came out at the time. First of all, it has a small sense of melody not present in most USDM; second, it has all that evil atmosphere that Entombed's american peers so hard tried to achieve (and mostly failed). Entombed manage to be relentlessly aggressive and atmospheric at the same time, without decaying in melodic death metal. The guitar work is not very original (except for that great tone, of course), but it's still damn good.

Overall, Left Hand Path is an essential piece on the death metal puzzle, influencing an entire legion of swedish bands that later showed up in the scene. You like death metal? Then OWN IT! Stand-out tracks: Left Hand Path, But Life Goes On, Abnormally Deceased, Supposed to Rot. Some versions of the album have two bonus tracks: one of them, Premature Autopsy, is done quite differently than the usual Entombed sound, but it's still amazing. If you like Cannibal Corpse, you'll recognize the initial riff from a very famous tune of them... CC, you little rip-offs!