After two lauded albums that arguably spear headed the Swededeath revival, Sweden’s Entrails is playing with the big boys now. Residing on Metal Blade Records, (a fitting replacement for Vomitory methinks) and sitting atop the heap of retro Swedish/Sunlight inspired death metal bands. But the pressure is now even more, especially with the all important third album as well as the jump to the big leagues. But founder Jimmy Lundqvist and co are up to the challenge and have responded appropriately with Raging Death, a seminal effort that captures the genres forefathers perfectly while creating the bands own legacy over twenty years later.
First off, the sound, notably the guitar tone on Raging Death is just fucking sublime. It mixes Clandestine‘s thunderous bottom end and drums with You’ll Never See and Soulless’s buzz. Throw in more of an emphasis on groove and catchy-ness and you get a cross section of those albums’ songs, with just a dash of the under rated Massive Killing Capacity. Still using riffs he penned over twenty years ago (i.e “Bloodhammer”), Lundqvist has brought back actual riffs with a vengeance. And while many of his peers also have captured the sound well, the fact these guys were formed in 1990 and only recently unleashed some dusted off riffs, this sounds more authentic than many bands that simply formed a couple of years ago with an HM2 pedal and a copy of Left Hand Path.
Raging Death is perfect in every sense and while bolstered by the killer production, the songs are just expertly rendered from a bygone era without simply being nostalgic for nostalgia sake. As with the first two efforts (i.e “Voices”, “Euthanasia”, “End of All Existence”), there’s some legitimately classic riffs on here that simply invoke the classics, sometimes too closely (for example, the Phantasm-y synths from closer “The Cemetery Horrors” are more than a nod to “Left Hand Path’s” classic mid section). But with such a dearth of simply brilliant, thick grooves, you can’t help enjoy Raging Death on it’s own merits too.
From the spooky classic opening of “In Pieces” through the aforementioned “The Cemetery Horrors”, the whole album, every single note and track is pure Sunlight worshiping bliss given a robust, hefty makeover. There is the feedback and massive chunk of “Carved to the Bone”, the rollicking “Headless Dawn” (with yet another spooky, classic synth segment), the “Evilyn” invoking rumble of “Cadaverous Stench”, musty lurches of “Descend to the Beyond” and “Chained and Dragged” and the feral burst of “Defleshed” (“Shreds of Flesh”?). It’s all just damn perfect and as with the first two releases will be an unquestionable album of the year contender for me.[Visit the band's website]