Entrails
Obliteration

For 5 years and three previous albums now, Sweden’s Entrails, reactivated from the 90s has been arguably the forerunner and top band in the Swedish death metal revival. After two killer albums on FDA Rekotz/Dark Descent, they were elevated to the big leagues with 2013s Raging Death, on Metal Blade Records, and didn’t lose a beat.

But Obliteration sees the departure of long time guitarist Mathias Nilsson, replaced with youngster Penki Samuelsson, and while Entrails is certainly Jimmy Lundquist’s show, there’s is certainly a noticeable void. Not that Obliteration is not worthy of Entrails esteemed back catalog, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t something missing.

The guitar tone is there, and as thick, mid range and buzzsaw-y as ever, maybe even more than ever. The nods to the classic releases from Entombed, Grave and Dismember are there and the songs deliver huge grooves and thunderous gallops in spades. But after multiple listens, the fact remains that I keep coming back to other releases in style before Obliteration. Feral’s Where Dead Dream Dwell, Morbid Vomit‘s Return to the Crypts, and Cult of Endtime‘s In Charnel Lights. And I don’t think that is a knock on Lundquist and co, but more speaks to the fact other bands are catching up to Entrails‘ previously untouchable delivery of the style.

Where debut Tales from the Morgue had the likes of “Voices” and “Euthanasia”, and follow up The Tomb Awaits had “Eaten by the Dead” or “Collection of Cracked heads” and Raging Death had “Headless Dawn” and “Carved to the Bone”, Obliteration lacks those signature, “FUCK YES!” songs that just throttle your neck and smash your skull in. There just seems to be that lack of utterly killer, blood pumping groove or canter that sticks with you long after the record is over.

Now don’t get me wrong Obliteration is a fine, solid album there are some good, maybe great songs here like standout “Epitome of Death”, “The Grotesque” and “Midnight Coffin”, which all come close, but when the teeth rattling production (and that stellar artwork) is more memorable that most of the songs, there’s a problem. I know it’s been two years since the last album, but the words rushed  and safe kept coming to mind….. I mean just listen to the lead off single “Beyond the Flesh” above, the sort of the  title track “Obliterate” or “Abyss of Corpses” and tell me that you want to punch your granny in the face? Nope? I thought so. And that’s whats missing on a majority of Obliteration.

Now, did I enjoy Obliteration? Of course I did, I live for this style and sound and Entrails is one of the very best at it. But is Obliteration  going to be my go to Entrails album? I’m afraid not as the three previous album were all better, with killer, arguably classic genre defining songs scattered among them while Obliteration is merely solid.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
May 25th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Stacy B.

    Your review nails it, especially the last sentence, “…the three previous album were all better, with killer, arguably classic genre defining songs scattered among them while Obliteration is merely solid.” In other words: solid on it’s own, but in the context of previous albums, a tiny bit disappointing. But I’ll add that I think this album’s first half is a little stronger than the second half, possibly trading in some of their more hefty moments for catchy melodic lines. Having said that, if the whole record maintained the first half’s superior songs, I’d be even more forgiving, possibly ranking it in basic alignment with the rest of their discography. (Bonus points for the funeral dirge melody at the end of ‘Epitome Of Death’)


  2. Commented by: StormFront

    The buzzsaw guitars sound reminds me of BloodBath – Resurrection Through Carnage.


  3. Commented by: xrefused

    It seems like these guys have lost a lot of their luster. There was just something magic about Tales from the Morgue. It might partially be that a lot of it was written during the early 90s.But I miss the feeling that album conjured, I’ve liked every release afterword less and less. Bummer, man.


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