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Good, but overhyped - 60%

The_GEP_Gun, August 2nd, 2022
Written based on this version: 1999, CD, Earache Records

Entombed is a band that is often name-checked when people refer to old-school death metal for good reason. This band is possibly the single most influential Swedish death metal band of all time, along with Dismember. The sound has been copied time and time again, often with mixed results. With that being said, I can't help but think that this album is somewhat overhyped for what it is. While some albums are hyped and deserve it (Celtic Frost's Morbid Tales, Metallica's Ride the Lightning, and Strapping Young Lad's City immediately come to mind), I think that this is one of the rare cases where an album does not quite match the same levels of hype for me as it does for everyone else.

Don't get me wrong, I acknowledge the impact that it had on underground music, especially for its time. But if we are judging this album based purely on its own terms, it is an album that never quite keeps my attention throughout. I also think that many aspects of this album tend to be overhyped, which leads me to think that this album is incredibly overrated.

While the guitar tone is cetainly iconic, as it has been copied by countless bands across the world, it is not even close to bringing the heaviest sound to a death metal record, even for its time. Albums like Bolt Thrower's Realms of Chaos and Autopsy's Severed Survival edge this out in terms of heaviness, and they came out a year prior. Death metal was also getting heavier with the advent of death/doom on the horizon, with bands like Sempiternal Deathreign and Winter at the forefront. While it is certainly crushing for its time, it does not seem to exceed that of some of its peers in the US.

But heaviness does not matter, as long as the songwriting is great. However, this is the album's main Achilles' heel. While Dismember's Like an Ever Flowing Stream is consistent throughout, this album has way too much filler to justify such a high rating on this site. While there are a number of classics here, the title track being the main one that comes to mind, most of this album is very forgettable. Which is a shame, because those classic songs show that Entombed had lots of potential to write an album full of classic songs, but that is not what we got.

It's not all sub-par though, as the performances here are second-to-none. Lars-Göran Petrov (Rest in Peace) delivers a savage vocal performance, which is as iconic as it gets for old school death metal. The instruments sound raw and intense, while never having a hint of sloppiness. I just wish that what they were playing was more interesting.

Due to its influence, its energetic performances, and its iconic sound, I enjoy this more than I do not. However, the score on this website seems rather rediculous in my opinion. I apologise if I look like an edgy contrarian, but that is not my intention with this review at all. I understand why this record is as beloved as it is, but I just do not share the same love as everyone else, unfortunately.