Gormathon
Following the Beast

Coming out of left field (well, Sweden) is the second album from Gormathon, a band I had never heard of but has provided me with an early Christmas present, as this album is absolutely phenomenal and easily one of the best I have heard all year.  Pulling all the best elements from power, thrash, melodic death, straight death, British heavy metal and probably a few genres I’m missing, I was absolutely floored by this one.

The driving force behind Following the Beast is vocalist Tony Sunnhag, who is capable of stunningly soaring vocals, and full on death growls all the way to a thrashy Gorefest style yell (the obvious comparison range-wise is Opeth’s Akerfeldt, though Gormathon gets much more thrashy overall).  This is evident on the amazingly catchy early tracks “Land of the Lost” and “Break the Chains”, both featuring chorus lines that will stick with you long after the album ends. “Hellbender” is much more of a classic thrash track, with “Celestial Warrior” more straight on death metal.  The band doesn’t list any additional vocalists, and if Sunnhag handles it all then his work here is just made that much more impressive.

The band features a dual guitar attack courtesy of Stefan Jonsson and Markus Albertson, and they bounce among the aforementioned genres with ease; check out the solo work on display in “Remember” and “In Benevolence.”  Their mix of ripping solos to death metal chugs to driving power chords forms a fine backing to Sunnhag’s vocal display.  Skinsman Tony Sandberg shows the same deft, providing the needed ripping double bass or restrained fills and back beats needed for all the varied tempos and styles the band deploys.

If you’re looking for something a little different (or a mix of just about everything but black metal or grind) you owe it to yourself to give this one a listen.  It holds up very well to multiple spins, and is an album that is on my must-buy list for this year.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
December 5th, 2014

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