Swedish band Mordbrand despite being formed a few years back and having recorded a split 12” with English metalers Evoke in 2006 when just the duo of guitarist/bassist Bjorn Larsson and drummer Johan Rudberg, will be newcomers to the ears of more than a few when their EP Necropsychotic is released via Deathgasm Records on September 6th. The re-emergence of early Swedish death metal as an influence for more and more sounds and bands is a strong element in the genre right now and the trio from Karlstad are one band who brings its full force through with accomplished results.
Larsson, Rudberg and renowned vocalist Per Boder of God Macabre/Macabre End acclaim, who joined the band in 2010, have filled their EP with six focused and impressive tracks that evoke and encapsulate the true spirit of the genres origins. To be honest Mordbrand do not venture too far from the roots of death metal the influences from the likes of Entombed, Neurosis and Dismember to name just three clear and strong in their sound, but these elements are infused into the music and realised with a quality and vibrancy that leaves many other bands in the shade.
Necropsychotic starts off with ‘Eaters Of The Void’ and immediately through the aggressive riffs, the meandering and inviting guitars, plus the menacing and ominous darkly coarse vocals of Boder places the bands intent and purpose distinctly in the ear. The track also carries a compulsive groove that permeates the track bringing indecision as whether to fear going on or to open up and submit to the darkness of the release.
‘Graveyard Revisited’ continues the unsettling oppression on the senses laying another enticing groove behind the low and guttural growls of Boder, the driving incessant urgency and aggressive delivery of vocals and riffs wrapped and intertwined with memorable and engaging melodic interjections throughout make the experience more than worthy. This set up is even more impressively delivered in the EP’s best track ‘Skärseld (Return to the Unholy)’, the dark spices of folk metal and its sinister atmosphere seeping through the dark chaos is excellent and the song is worth the releases entrance fee all by itself.
The three remaining tracks on Necropsychotic that complete the very satisfying package are ‘The Fall of Flesh’, ‘Deathbound’, and ‘Deliverance’. Each match and add to the high consistency and level achieved by the previous tracks. ‘The Fall of Flesh’ has a more straight forward rock base forging the song forward than other songs here but still it leaves marks from its crushing riffs, incisive creative grooves and Boder’s ever challenging and senses pushing delivery. ‘Deathbound’ like ‘Skärseld…’ lifts the EP and shows Mordbrand as a band with more than strong skills in their armoury and giving evidence of promise and intriguing times ahead in future releases. The track like a thunderous storm batters relentlessly at the ear whilst at the same time inviting and pleasing the ear with some inspired directions and sounds.
‘Deliverance’ closes the EP and is as strong as what has come before but it does lack a spark and labours somewhat in its performance which has as much to say about the other songs than its own construction and realisation. It certainly does not detract from the overall satisfaction of Necropsychotic though and is a song well conceived and delivered.
Mordbrand show with Necropsychotic that they have all the weapons and material to be a force in the death metal genre in the future and despite the EP reliving and returning to older sounds and influences their sound does has a freshness that sets the band apart from most other similar veined bands.