Having been more than impressed by previous album The Tomb Awaits, the release of the third album Raging Death by Swedish death metallers Entrails was met with heightened anticipation. It was a hungry appetite which the band and album easily sated with its expanse of old school enterprise. As since their first day, the sound of the band is soaked in the seeds of Swedish death metal with influences coming from the likes of old Entombed, Dismember, Grave and more towards its caustic annihilatory persuasion and the new album is no different. Also like the previous release the album is not offering anything ground breaking but twisting existing malevolence into new tortuous exploits.
Formed in 1991, Entrail’s start did not bring the band to any real attention, failed attempts at making demos and line-ups changes leading the band to closing down as a project in 1994 until 2008, when band founder and guitarist Jimmy Lundqvist resurrected the band after finding some old Entrails recordings in a tape collection. This led to the band’s debut demo Reborn, a ten track release using original material from their early days brought to life with modern recording technology and fronted by the vocals of Jocke Svensson. Strong reviews fell upon the release and the following Human Decay demo, which again saw Lundqvist providing all the sounds and Svensson the vocals. After signing with German label FDA Rekotz in 2010, the band expanded with guitarist Mathias Nilsson joining the pair as Svensson moved to bass alongside his now permanent vocal duties. The same year saw acclaimed debut album Tales From The Morgue released and the addition of drummer Adde Mitroulis to the line-up as well as the quartet making their live debut again to strong responses. The Tomb Awaits in 2011 brought another elevation in the band’s status placing the band before worldwide attention.
Raging Death is the first album with Metal Blade Records who the band signed with last year, ten songs of insidious carnivorous death metal steeped in its origins. The brewing initial breath of In Pieces is the first engagement with the ear, the sinister ambience and gentle breath of the piece a dawning challenge soon exploded into a rabid crawl of sludge intensity and rapacious riffs. Once into its eager stride the track chews on the senses with exhausting hunger and equally depleting energy whilst the rhythmic onslaught of the drums brings bone to dust. It is a compelling and thrilling confrontation with the excellent gut spewing tones of Svensson as impressive as remembered on earlier albums and the track itself a primal aggressor to devour willingly and greedily. There is just one moan and that is with the excellent searing guitar solo which is found within a hollow almost cavernous setting within the song. It is obviously intentional as no other aspect of the track follows suit into the restrictive arms place around it but it feels odd here and on other songs where it emerges, and depletes the strength of the musicianship.
The following Carved to the Bone builds upon and pushes the strong start to the album, its incessant inciting riffs and sonic persuasion a less intense provocation compared to its predecessor but an equally impacting one, especially with its underlying groove, though again the guitar is unfortunately given that lone distant position in the mix when unleashing its fire.
Through both the brutal predator Bloodhammer and the malevolent Headless Dawn, Entrails continue to savage the senses with craft and enterprise especially in the second with a wonderful haunting melodic central taking of breath before the primal ferocity returns. They are an appetising and invigorating lead in to the strongest and most impressive part of the album where a pair of songs lays waste to the senses and passion with scintillating invention and aggression first hinted at by the closing climax of Headless Dawn.
Cadaverous Stench immediately stomps over the grave of complacency and predictability, the track a swinging onslaught of contagious grooves and equally addictive riffs whilst both vocals and drums barrack the ear with spite and venomous belligerence. It is an irresistible sonic molestation of the senses with an equally compelling violation of the passions by uncomplicated death metal excellence supported by Descend to the Beyond, a song with a continually shifting gait and a heady mix of melodic and destructive extremes all brought with fire and passion.
The likes of Death League and Defleshed bring further thrilling ruinous and corrosive furies to bear whilst closing track The Cemetery Horrors is a final slab of reptilian filth coated irrepressible extreme metal to unleash further incendiary energy and passion with and to complete a fine and richly pleasing release. Raging Death is not going anywhere no one has ventured before whilst walking with sounds bred in the history of death metal but there is a temptation and hook to it which sets it as one of the more enjoyable and easy to return to genre releases over recent months.
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