Tales From the Morgue



So there’s been a pretty nice movement of retro death metal resurrecting the old Stockholm sound in the last few years; bands from back in the day reforming (Séance, General Surgery, Evocation, Interment), some nice odes and homage’s (Chaosbreed, Kaamos, Hail of Bullets, Bloodbath, Lifeless, Rib Spreader, God Among Insects) the old stalwarts still plugging away (Grave, Dismember, Unleashed) and even the yanks are having a solid crack at it (Fatalist, Black Breath, Invasion). But I’ll be god damned if the debut full-length album from Sweden’s Entrails isn’t the best retro-Stockholm death metal release since Bloodbath’s debut.

Much like Evocation and Interment, God Macabre, Gorement and such, Entrails were around back in the early 90s, but never got enough recognition or distribution to put together anything other than a few underground releases and demos. So founder Jimmy ‘Bloodspill’ Lundquist decided to get some folks together (including Jocke Svensson of Birdflesh to do vocals) and redo all the tracks he wrote back in the day and release them.

And that’s what sets Tales from the Morgue apart; instead of sounding like an homage or tribute album—many of these songs were apparently written back in 1991 as demos—but are just now getting some professional recording. Not only do they sound like they are 20-years old, they FEEL like songs from a bygone era: All the riffs are so classically nostalgic and retro without being forced, much like Relapse’s reissue of God Macabre’s The Winterlong, it sounds like a remastered (a brilliant mix and master from Dan Swano) reissue of a lost classic, not a 2010 release. The primary influences are obvious; as if you couldn’t tell from the logo/font; Nihilist, Entombed’s Left Hand Path (there’s even a very similar Phastasm-ish nod/tinkle to Left Hand Path’s title track in “Euthanasia” ), Grave’s Into the Grave and I hear some God Macabre in the somber, doomy strains here and there.

The guitar tone of the album is to die for and is simply the best I’ve heard since Bloodbath’s debut (yes, even better than Hail of Bullets and Fatalist) , mixing a super deep, down-tuned buzz that has some of Grave’s almost overbearing, chunky debut tone in there as well. Mix that tone with an utterly thunderous rhythm section and songs and riffs that are sucked straight from a Stockholm time machine, and the end result is utterly mind blowing. All of the 10 actual songs (there’s a classically cheesy/spooky intro) are brilliant, with not a single filler or weak track. And to boot, they all balance catchy galloping riffs, some utterly sick fucking grooves and plenty of moody, scrawling solos. Jocke Svensson also has a perfectly toned deep but not overdone voice that’s just as nostalgic as the music.

From the classic, cantankerous opening trot of “Blood Red”, through the melodic, Dismember-ish canter of “Voices” (just check out that stunning mid section at 1:48), massively hefty chunk of “Entrails”, the aforementioned “Euthanasia” (with a thunderously galloping opening riff that’s simply sick), raucously heavy trot of “Evil Obsession”, melancholic throes of the mid paced “Triumph of the Sinners” and atmospheric crawling closer “The Curse of Death”, every note and riff makes me so happy I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or go on a metal fueled killing spree. My only minor quibble is that the album’s couple of blast beats (“Entrails” and “The Morgue”) get completely washed out due to the production.

There’s no doubt in my mind that if this album had been released back in 1990 or 1991, we would be talking about it in the same breath as Dark Recollections, Left Hand Path, Like an Ever Flowing Stream and Into the Grave. As it stands, Tales from the Morgue not only surpasses Interment’s (excellent) Into the Crypts of Blasphemy as 2010’s best retro/Stockholm styled death metal album, it might be one of my favorite albums of the last five years or more. Tales From the Morgue, like Bloodbath’s Resurrection Through Carnage, should be considered an modern day classic.

Thanks to Scott Alisoglu for the heads up on this. Fucking get this or die.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 22nd, 2010


  1. Commented by: Nicolas

    As you said, Holy Fuck! I just feel like I travelled back in time when I was a teenager and was discovering all those great emerging swedish death metal bands!

    Thanks to you for bringing back these memories :)

  2. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Wow, this sound awesome. Thanks for the heads up…Im tracking this down immediately !

  3. Commented by: terp

    Not finding this, but their website says it came out in May. Is it an import in the U.S.? You got me all excited about this & Interment & I can’t get my hands on either of ’em yet :)

  4. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    @Terp- Razorback records has this for $10 and Dark Descent Records has it for $8. I had to get the Interment from Pulverized direct from thier ebay store.

  5. Commented by: terp

    Many thanks, Erik.

  6. Commented by: Staylow

    My, what a gushing review there Erik. :lol:

    This sounds killer. The guitar tone is fucking sick. I need this.

  7. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    This album is miles ahead of a lot of other bands doing the same thing. Thanks for the review.

  8. Commented by: Cynicgods


    Exterminator kit should come with a copy of this device. Murders small rodents, insects, arachnids among assorted household vermin. Plug in and let ‘er rip! :D

  9. Commented by: Staylow

    Finally heard the full album – this is indeed very bad ass, great review Erik.

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