Released: Sept, Agonia Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Nearly every metal fan can name an album which drew them into a particular sub-genre. In my case it was ‘Harmony Corruption’ by Napalm Death that drew me towards Death Metal. For any youngbloods new to the extreme metal scene, and its prevalence across Europe, we have a fine piece of old-school sounding death metal which will make loads of young people want to start their own bands. By that I am referring to ARCHWAYS, the second album from Swedish outfit Stench.
Nowhere on this release will you find a technical blast beat or anything over 200 bpm. Opening track ‘Archways’ exhibits the stripped-down nature of the band’s signature sound and has a slightly punk rock beat. ‘The Vast’ and ‘Road’ will please people who like old Sodom and Necrophobic. Old Unleashed also springs to mind. Here we have a ‘back-to-roots’ take on the Swedish Death Metal scene with ‘Small Death’ sounding similar to a young band bashing around in their parents’ garage.
‘Way’ has hypnotic beats and that made me think of fellow Swedes Anti-Cimex and adds more oomph without using any vocals. The growls on this record did make me think of Chris Barnes and Corpsegrinder, except they also carry faraway qualities which will please horror film fanatics. And ‘Venture’ delivers a pleasing ending with lots of good riffs and slightly more technical drums.
This my friends, is one of those albums which will show the kids how to play death metal properly before they master it and add their own vibes. If you think Deathcore and Slam are being used as the gateway into the death metal scene, Stench are that tool you’re looking for to give that old school sound we all need to understand before experimenting.
Review by Demitri Levantis