Released: 2015, Pulverised Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Given that Under the Church features 2/3 of the classic Nirvana 2002 lineup, you wouldn’t be wrong for expecting RABID ARMAGEDDON to be a quality platter of retro Swedeath. Nirvana 2002 missed the post-Nihilist explosion in Sweden and quickly dissolved after only a couple of years on the scene, but their demos from that time have posthumously become cult favorites. Fast forward a few decades and Lars Henriksson and Erik Qvick have reassembled themselves with new vocalist Mik Annetts to form Under the Church. Their 2014 self-titled EP was a welcomed throwback to simpler times, when all a band needed was an HM-2 guitar pedal and a dream. It wasn’t earth shattering, but it completely served its purpose.
Which is why RABID ARMAGEDDON is a bit disappointing; it sounds uninspired and without purpose. The song titles read like they were pulled out of a “random death metal song name” generator (“Sodomy and Blasphemy”, “Mangled to a Bloody Mess”), and the actual tunes themselves just kinda go through the motions. Almost like a lesser band that’s been watching YouTube videos in an attempt to emulate a style that’ll offer some street cred. Even as songs like “Triad Ov Inquisitors” and “Suspended in Gore” attempt to stir the creative pot with injections of doom, RABID ARMAGEDDON ends up sounding more formulaic than menacing, and that sucks for all parties involved.
RABID ARMAGEDDON won’t scratch your itch for classic Swedish death metal, only just mildly graze the affected area and let you know there’s still some irritation. Go find some Fleshcrawl, some Entrails, or even Under the Church’s debut for a real fix.