DCLXVI: To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth
Released: 1997, Music For Nations
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of MASTER OF PUPPETS, POWERSLAVE or SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
We all know the story by now. Entombed were once the toast of the death metal world with two groundbreaking albums to their credit, LEFT HAND PATH, and CLANDESTINE. Then, they had a hand in inventing a new genre, death & roll, and made a play for the brass ring with their third album, the divisive, but still loved WOLVERINE BLUES. Depending on your point of view, it’s usually either with this album, or the following SAME DIFFERENCE, that Entombed ceased to be a worthwhile listen. With the band once again split into separate camps, let’s revisit the band’s disruptive fourth album.
Fact #1: by the release of this album, Entombed were no longer a death metal band. I state that obvious point, as that seems to be the crux of the argument against this album. I can understand lamenting the loss of a favorite band, but I’ve always been one to try and follow where a band goes, as long as the albums are good. Which brings me to Fact #2: this is a good album. It’s horror-themed, punky, trashy vibe is certainly unique, almost as if the band were trying to “go back to the garage”, so to speak. The accordant production is clear but thin, and L-G Petrov abandons all pretense of growling and goes for a clear but gruff vocal. Most of the songs are short and vicious, like the pounding “Like This with the Devil”, although the band does go for more exploratory vibes with the longer songs, to mixed results (good: “They”, not as good: “Boats”). Peppered in between are occasional instrumental tracks, all adding to the horror-like theme the band was shooting for.
By the end of the crashing “Wreckage”, Entombed has taken you on a 40-minute ride into some very disturbed territory. Personally, I had a blast revisiting this album after many years away. The songs are catchy, varied, and the band’s “fuck it, let’s just go for it” attitude is refreshing in an age where so much music is processed and “perfect”. Yeah, there is a fair amount of filler as well, but this experiment was damn successful, even if it led to the abomination that was SAME DIFFERENCE. Go back and listen with an open mind and you just might be surprised.