Released: 2012, WormHole Death
Sweden loves their brand of death metal. They execute it well, and there is no shortage of bands willing to throw their name into the hat. Bleeding Utopia is one of the newest bands to emerge, playing the now familiar style of death metal that Gothenburg pioneered. The debut album, DEMONS TO SOME GODS TO OTHERS is taken from Pinhead’s line in the movie HELLRAISER. It is an appropriate title, as the band offers a style of death metal that some people will never tire of while others have undoubtedly had their share already.
Considering the insane levels of competition, Bleeding Utopia has taken the approach of nailing the technical aspects of the genre first while leaving innovation or reinvention out of the mix, at least for the debut. The album delivers more of the precision and flawlessly performed death metal that people have come to expect from Sweden. The production is full and heavy, while vocally Henrik Wenngren goes for a blackened death approach, more guttural and throaty than reptilian. Musically, the band opts for a bludgeoning attack with melodic runs appearing less frequently than in most Swedish death metal albums and naturally a bountiful accompaniment of kick drumming is present. There are also many elements of thrash metal, particularly in some gang shouted vocals such as on “You’re Mine”. I suppose you could argue that this is more of a thrash metal album with ample amounts of death metal included.
All of the expected devices are here, the ingredients needed to succeed in place from a technical standpoint, but the key pieces so often missing from debut albums are likewise absent here. In the case of DTSGTO, the lack of variety quickly wears thin. All songs start the same, either mid-paced and then become fast, or vice versa. Additionally there is no innovation, nothing new being offered here and no matter how convincingly and faithfully you execute this style there are so many bands already doing it that you have to question whether anymore of these bands are necessary? If you believe that more are indeed necessary, than by all means you should enjoy Bleeding Utopia’s debut. For me, I will wait until the next album to see if they develop a more individual sound, just not seeing the need to add any more Swedish death/thrash metal to my library.