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Toderlebend - In Stench We Rot - 89%

Edmund Sackbauer, June 10th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Independent (Limited edition)

German bands have been responsible for some of the most solid death metal releases within the past years so whenever I stumble upon another old school record from that country I take notice. Toderlebend is kind of a strange name for me as native speaker, as it sounds more like some of the creations a few Russian or Polish bands come up with when they want to show their love for the German language. However, don’t get fooled by this fact as the music by these three lads is all kills no frills death metal done the classic way. They have only managed to record one full length titled “In Stench We Rot” which has already been released back in 2016, so I am not sure if they are still active and work on new stuff. However, this album is one of those hidden gems for fans of the genre to miss out on so it would be a shame if it rotted in oblivion.

So like mentioned this is a pretty straight forward affair without any superfluous nonsense attached to it. There is a distinctive Swedish vibe to the music which is reflected by the use of an HM2 pedal or something similar, lending the guitars that buzzy and chain-sawing tone we all came to love. It’s not overused though like it is often the case with similar outputs. The album starts with the first slow, but ultimately heavy riff in “Brutal Truth”, and for larger parts of the record Toderlebend stay within the doomy to mid-tempo area. There are a few bursts of speedier attacks, but those sections are used sparingly to create some moments of intensity whenever Toderlebend decide to attack. Most of the time the music is the equivalent of a tank rolling through the wasteland. Heavy and unstoppable and built of undestroyable German steel.

Toderlebend’s main assets surely are the mesmerizing chords, broadening on their vigorous sound as the melodies in the background slowly begin to swirl. The riffing is extremely dense, made from buzzing rhythms played at high voltage. If that isn’t enough, the bass adds yet another layer to that, dropping its presence everywhere. This album boasts a lot of groovy bounces that are easy to catch onto. There are enough hints of melody within the crushing backbone, but they never get too much to the front. There are of course a lot of nods to some of the cornerstone albums of the genre, but in case you are looking for something new that has not been done before in a similar way you anyway came to the wrong place. Toderlebend are mainly interested in dropping some rock solid and easily enjoyable songs for fans of the genre. That being said they show their talent and ambition, especially viable in the last song “Deathwish”, which offers some well-crafted build-ups and quite a bit of diversity over a playing time of nearly nine minutes.

The rhythm section is tight as hell, with some perfectly timed outbursts of onslaught. The vocal duties seem to be shared among the band members and we get some deep growls as well as hysterical mid register screams. This kind of approach is not really new, but it works pretty well for Toderlebend. I would not call the vocals the biggest highlight here, but they just fit to the instrumentation and the songs. The production is also perfectly fine, maybe not as polished as on some records by better known acts, but overall absolutely satisfying. So in case you are looking for a pleasant piece of filthy and nasty old school death metal “In Stench We Rot” is a safe bet.