Reviewed: April 2009
Released: 2008, Pulverised Records
Reviewer: Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus
Ever hear those tragically trite metal terms “facemelt,” “effin br00tal,” and “the most evil thing recorded since Oops! I Did it Again?” If so, then you will agree that such neologisms are usually dispensed with excessive carelessness and are rarely deserved by the worthless ‘metal’ albums that typically receive them. It is therefore with great joy that I give you Facebreaker’s DEAD, ROTTEN, AND HUNGRY, the most brutal, virgin-defiling, undead-glorifying facemelt of a death metal album as I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to.
All the elements of old-school death metal are here – chainsaw guitars, technical drumming, cookie monster vocals, and eleven glorious songs about hordes of zombies devouring the living. What separates this Swedish band from the countless mediocre ones out there is that each technical element is executed to perfection atop of truly killer songwriting. Each guitar riff is memorable and bloodcurdling without resorting to wankery or excessive progressive complexity – and there are some great guitar solos present too. The vocals are suitably brutal and excruciatingly intelligible (think of a lightweight Mikael Akerfeldt with a heavier accent and none of the songbird stuff,) with ridiculously fun grunt-along choruses in songs “Dead, Rotten, and Hungry” & “Night of the Burning Dead.” After all, who can resist screaming “DEAD, ROT-TEN, and HUNNNGRY” at the top of one’s lungs when in the mood? DEAD also sports a refreshingly polished production, which isn’t something I usually expect from smaller metal acts. And all of this from a little-known Swedish band with only one previous album to their name.
After repeated listens, I can’t find a weak track in this album. Each song manages to remain memorable and relentlessly listenable, whether it’s an exceptional riff, scream-along chorus, tactfully concise guitar solo, or absurdly evil bass groove. Somehow, Facebreaker has perfectly blended brutality and accessibility without compromising an inch. These guys deserve the big-time, and they’re easily in league with acts like Bloodbath and Cannibal Corpse. Any fan of death metal absolutely needs to own this album – you will be reminded why you started listening to sick music like this in the first place. And if you don’t like death metal, buy this album so that you can start! Enjoy the facesmashing – this time, the description matches the music.
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