Thursday, February 23, 2012

Swedish Death Metal - Part 5

The 5th and final part of our tour through the first 25 years of Swedish death metal.

"Dead Rotten and Hungry" -by- Facebreaker -from- Dead, Rotten and Hungry
Formed in 1999, Facebreaker began releasing albums in 2004. They hearken back to the old days of straight-forward Swedish death metal, but their particular brand is infused with a newer and heavier edge. They sound similar in many respects to Bloodbath.

Revelation 666 -by- Necrophobic -from- Death to All
Another group that began releasing demos way back in the late 80s, Necrophobic even started producing albums as early as 1993. Somehow, though, they have managed to stay musically healthy right up to the present day. Some death metal bands go for gore and violence, while others aim for an arcane essence of pure evil. Necrophobic fit into the latter category, and they do it extremely well.

"Inheritance" -by- Aeon -from- Path of Fire
Aeon are a strictly anti-Christian group who have been floating around since 1999 and began releasing albums in 2005. They go for a heavy, almost death-grind sound with higher and lower vocals layered on top of each other in places. Musically, they remind me a bit of Dying Fetus.

"Eaten by the Dead" -by- Entrails -from- The Tomb Awaits
So what about new bands? Though they purport to have started playing together in 1990, Entrails never released so much as a demo until 2008. On that basis, I consider them a new band. Their two albums, however, are extremely nostalgic. It seems recording throwbacks to the period around 1990-91 is pretty popular in Swedish metal these days, and Entrails are a prime example. Everything from album art to their logo design indicates that this band would love to move back a couple decades. Their music certainly agrees. This stuff is really good, and it's really retro.

"Let it Burn" -by- Avatar -from- Black Waltz
At the other extreme, some Swedish death metal has stepped into a very different realm. Lead by groups like In Flames (and countless non-Swedish acts) who have gained enormous popularity by chasing after what I like to call the "Hot Topic crowd", a modern understanding of melodic death metal has produced groups like Avatar. Without change there is stagnation, though I'm not personally crazy about this particular example of change. For better or for worse, though, this album was the top result I found when searching for Swedish death metal releases from this year. So what is the future of Swedish death metal? I like to hope that it rests safely in the hands of groups like Entrails, but I'll leave you with the thought that it might lie in this direction instead.

And that concludes our tour. This was, of course, only a very narrow slice of a much larger subject, and I was forced to leave out bands I would have liked to mention, but that can't be helped. Anyway, thanks for reading. Please remain seated until the music comes to a complete stop, and have a nice day.

Part 1 1988-1992
Part 2 1993-1997
Part 3 1998-2002
Part 4 2003-2007
Part 5 2008-2012

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