Released: 2011, F.D.A. Rekotz
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Hey, remember when Entombed used to play death metal? When they were known for albums like LEFT HAND PATH and CLANDESTINE, and not a string of disappointing alt-rock records? Thems were some good times folks, and apparently those good times resonated profoundly with Sweden’s Entrails. Their sophomore release THE TOMB AWAITS is a love letter to the classic early ‘90s Swedish death metal sound, before it got all fancy and emo. I’m talkin’ the sound of Entombed, Dismember, Morgoth, Grave, when the music of those bands put fear into the hearts and minds of young, impressionable listeners. But specifically, Entrails have a love jones for the ‘Tombed boys; the logo, the title, the sound, even the album cover all bear distinct resemblances to the band’s classic debut. You can debate all you want about whether it’s homage or plagiarism, but one thing that is for certain is that it’s one fine slab of rotting death.
Now I’m not going to ignore that there are umpteen bazillion bands doing the old school thing, but Entrails is the real deal. There’s a level of genuine appreciation and reverence for this style of music that seethes across THE TOMB AWAITS. Even better though is that Entrails has the chops to back up their gusto. The album’s full of heavy hitters like “Crawling Death,” “Eaten by the Dead,” “To Live is to Rot,” and “Unspeakable Obscenities” (which sounds like a leftover from Dismember’s INDECENT AND OBSCENE, spectacular). The tunes don’t sound retro or nostalgic, but they’re written and executed in a familiar vein that makes Entrails come across as instantly familiar but not rehashed. It’s like the songs were written in ’91, locked in a time capsule, and then given a fresh coat of 2011 paint and a balls out production job. Heavy, quality stuff.
In all fairness, you could certainly knock the band for a lack of originality or for clinging steadfast to the past, but c’mon. Good is good, and with the current drought of quality traditional death metal, Entrails is damn great. Whether you’re old school, new school, or just love your metal heavy, blood soaked and crawling out of the grave, THE TOMB AWAITS is a gem worth checking out.