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The Konkhra Phenomenon - 85%

Warpig, February 18th, 2007

KONKHRA were a phenomenon, as they were destined to make it big…and failed.
1. They always played the right sound at the right time. They were one of the first Scandinavian Death Metal acts, they leaned towards Death ‘n’ Roll during its short heyday and after that they changed their style again to a more Neo-Thrash sound.
2. They had the means and the support to become famous, as they were able to produce several promo videos (“Facelift” even aired regularly on MTV’s “Headbanger’s Ball”) and to tour around the world (including a support slot for King Diamond in 2001 and playing the prestigious Roskilde Festival even twice).
3. They were able to work with the best people. They had the best producers / engineers (Skogsberg, Estby, Wojno, Madsen) record / mix their albums in the best studios (Sunlight, Take One, Sound Temple, The Plant) and a few of the biggest names in the Metal scene even joined the band: James Murphy, Chris Kontos and THE HAUNTED’s Jensen.

However, the critics never really liked them and the fans seem to have forgotten them. Although the “Weed Out The Week” album sold really well and their Facelift EP even reached number 42 on the Danish singles chart, it should speak for itself that they’ve been on the Archives for 4 1/2 years now and this is the first review for any of their releases!

Without a doubt, the highlight of this album is the brilliant “Facelift”, one of the biggest hits the Death Metal genre has ever spawned. Not far behind, though, are the two mid-tempo tracks “Centuries” and, even more so, the dragging “Life Eraser”, which is driven by a highly memorable riff and is therefore just as catchy yet heavy as the aforementioned “Facelift”.

The rest of the album is a balanced mix of up-tempo and (sometimes pretty groovy) mid-tempo parts, often bordering on Death ‘n” Roll and reminiscent of PUNGENT STENCH and CARCASS’ “Heartwork” (which came out one year before).

Finally, I have to say that of all the albums I know that were recorded at the Sunlight Studio this is the best sounding. Compared to the releases of ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER or GRAVE “Spit Or Swallow” has a much crisper production, as the sound is less bass-heavy and is therefore far more transparent plus on this album you may hear the heaviest distorted guitars ever recorded!

“Spit Or Swallow” is a fantastic album by one of Scandinavia’s longest running Death Metal bands that has never got the attention and the acknowledgement it deserved. Or to put it another way, this is far too good to be overlooked!