Entrails
Rise of The Reaper

Despite being the arguable top act in the Swedish death metal revival since 2010s Tales From the Morgue, I had some reservations about the band’s sixth album. Mostly due to yet another line up change surrounding founder Jimmy Lundqvist, this one involving the addition of Markus Svensson on guitars but mainly, Penki Samuelsson moving to vocals after joining the band as a guitarist for 2015s Obliteration, the band’s lone ‘average’ album in their discography.

Not that Samuelsson isn’t a good vocalist, but for his other project Gravestone (who released a killer album last year) he has a more punky throaty, sneering approach that’s not as imposing as the prior rotation of vocalists (Birdflesh’s Jocke Svensson, Istapp’s Tommy Carlsson), and the two bands would be indistinguishable.

Well, that fear was pretty well cemented, as indeed, Samuelsson’s  vocals are more raspy and punky, and indeed the 2 bands are way too similar now, but that’s a small blemish on yet another other wise solid Entrails effort that delivers everything they have excelled at for 6 albums now.

The production and Dan Swano mix is still one of the best and most devastating HM-2, mid range tones around, with a teeth rattling bottom end and the songs are still a perfect balance of hefty grooves and blasts, even if some of the songs veer into more d-beat/punky Gravestone-ish territory (i.e “Gravekeeper”,  “Crawling In your Guts”, “For Whom the Head Rolls”).

Amid the 11 actual tracks, standouts include “For Hell” with its  catchy Dismember-ish, melodic gallop, “The Pyre” with a nice opening grove and atmospheric mid song break, musty “Gravekeeper”,  massive mid song groove of “Destruction”, sickly crawls of “Evils of the Night” (where that guitar tone just destroys…) , huge sauntering lumber of “In The Shape of Dead” and late album slow burner “Cathedral of Pain”, as its clear Entrails are at their best when rendering thick, meaty grooves and imposing lopes.

The rest of the album is faster, shorter stabs of straight up death metal such as “Miscreation”, “Destination Death”,  and the aforementioned tracks that could be from a Gravestone album. That’s not to say they are chopped liver, but they are certainly interchangeable. And as a result Rise of the Reaper, while another solid Entrails album, it feels more in line with Obliteration, being just an OK effort as opposed to a truly killer album like the bands first 3 or the last effort, World Inferno. And Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
November 18th, 2019

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