Released: 2006, Earache Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
This one threw me. As a reviewer, I like to think I am fairly up on most metallic goings-on, but this band—though well-known, and with a significant discography behind them—had slipped beneath my radar for quite some time. I honestly had little idea what to expect here, and I think this added to my enjoyment of the disc.
The bizarre, dissonant-yet-melodic guitar interplay of the opening track, pinned neatly against the brutal death vocals and blast beats contrasted sharply with the somewhat Black Metal-ish presentation that misled my expectation so. Truthfully, this has more in common with Necrophagist than, say, Ackercocke.
Technical without being Prog-Death, per se, I would say this compares favorably with Spawn Of Possession and old Gorguts. The melody is subversive here, often in the form of counterpoint; they might be Swedish, but this is no At The Gates. This band is brutal and to-the-point, guitar-wanking aside. Minor deviances in form, such as the clever, creeping break-downs in songs such as the outstanding “Better Grieved Than Fooled” combine with top-notch Brutal Death riffs and elastic drum fills to form a well-oiled engine clearly capable of melody, but never quite congeals into Melodic Death.
Brutal, clever, convincing, and outstandingly technical, this is yet another gem in Earache’s Wicked World crown of Death.
Highlights: “Downward Spiral Into Madness,” “Better Grieved Than Fooled,” “The Great Juggler.”