The Splendid Iniquity

What grabbed my attention immediately about the promo for this initially digitally, self released (since licensed by Canada’s fledgling lack Market Metal), Swedish death metal styled album was that is was mixed by Tomas fucking Skogsberg, AND has guest appearances from LG Petrov (Entombed)and James Murphy (Death, Obituary).  That’s an instant click bait for me. All it needed was Dan Seagrave cover art.

Then I come to find out this band hails from South Dakota and consists of an unlikely group of guys that have served in bands like obscure on/off death metal act Suffer, sludge/post rockers The Blinding Light and metalcore vets  Nodes of Ranvier. Hardly a veteran line up of household names for Stockholm styled death metal , but the Skogsberg name drop kept me involved, and I was greeted with a damn solid album of Entombed/Grave/Dismember worship.

I don’t know how some guys from South Dakota got three legends involved with their self released debut album, but even without their involvement, this would have still been a mighty fine release. Make no bones, this is pure homage. These guys are not tweaking the sound or adding anything or evolving like say Horrendous did after their debut. This is unabashed, mid range, Stockholm canter and buzz, with some innate Autopsy ish hues (after all, Entombed was heavily influenced by Autopsy).

The 40 or so minutes includes an classic 90s intro, interlude (“They Wake at Dusk”) and 8 songs of  no frills mid range, buzz saw riffs, some slow ( “Deliver Us”, “That Hath Awoke” both really showing the Autopsy stench) some fast (“Eternal Rest”, “Under the Calm”), some both (“The Splendid Iniquity”).  all rendered with a nicely authentic, not too forced or over the top actual Sunlight sound. LG Petrov  adds his raw throat to “Rivers Of Chaos” and Murphy has a solo in “From the Pit to the Apex”, but I would have been hard pressed to know without the liner notes as vocalist Chad Petit has a LG ish voice and lead guitarist Jason Ellsworth delivers plenty of his own melodic leads. 6 + minute closer “Falia Diaboli (Alisin)” cements everything the band does well and of course, delivers the instantly recognizable ode to the legendary title track from Entombed’s Left Hand Path.

Add these guys to the likes of Fatalist, Spinebreaker, Unwilling Flesh,Terminate and Skinfather as American bands excelling at this sound and hopefully keeping at it for future albums.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 6th, 2018


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