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Days We Dread
Released: 2012, Independent
Despite all the vitriol heaped upon it in the last decade, melodic death metal continues to be a consistent force in heavy metal, as new bands crop up almost monthly plying their trade. This brings me to Sweden’s Engraved, which is an interesting case of a band existing at the demo level for 19 years (!), forming in 1993. In fairness, the band was inactive from 1996 – 2009, but it is crazy to think about. At the very least, you can’t accuse the band of trend-hopping – they were there right in the genre’s formative years.
Having never heard the band’s previous demos, I can’t say how much they’ve improved over time, but I can say that after listening to DAYS WE DREAD, I’ll be surprised if the band remains unsigned for long because this is some high-quality stuff. Like all good melodic death, the guitars are the focus of the music and pushed to the fore in the mix. Martin Runnzell dispenses all kinds of memorable riffs, and is a definite asset to the band. In fact, I’ve had the first two tracks in particular, “Moments” and “The Day We Dread” on repeat for weeks. Vocally, Johan Eklund is both a serviceable growler and has the ability to carry the sections with clean vocals. As for the rhythm section, there’s not much to say about Runnzell’s bass or Dennis Bobzien’s drums, but they do get the job done. Finally, a quick word on the production – it’s clear but slightly dirty, reminding me somewhat of the old Sunlight Studios sound.
Needless to say, I’m quite impressed by Engraved. Even though it’s only a demo, DAYS WE DREAD sounds as good as any melodic death metal album released in the last decade, if not better. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but they’ve certainly refined a sound that they were a part of in its formative stages. Good stuff!
2. The Day We Dread
3. Harvest of the End
4. The Resurrection of Dr. Ephraim Anarius Drake
Martin Runnzell: Guitar, Bass
Johan Eklund: Vocals
Dennis Bobzien: Drums
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