I imagine being a Swedish death metal band, playing Swedish-styled, HM2 death metal AND hailing from Stockholm carries a little weight with it, what with Entombed  Grave and Dismember all hailing from your hometown. However, youngsters Katakomba are up to the task and have delivered a fine, if not damn brilliant homage to their hometown peers with their self-titled debut.

Armed with a killer hometown production from bassist/vocalist Fabian Brodén (and a master from legend, Dan Swano), Katakomba of course, sounds amazing with thumping bass, deep buzzsaw guitars, etc, all culling from their clear hometown peers. But the songwriting is just as good, delivering a deft 35-minute blend of cantankerous Swedish death metal gallops and blasts, and massive lumbering grooves. Both summed up perfectly in the opening duo of “Damnatio ad Bestias”, and “Katakomba” both having plenty of both in chainsaw-drenched spades.

The next 6 songs ( there is one short interlude, “Skärseld”) are no chopped liver, we get “Tomb of the Desecrated” (with a subtle nod to Entombed’s seminal “Left Hand Path”) and a couple of  ‘fun’, booty-shaking numbers in “Sacrifice” and ‘Worship Death”, which has a  fucking killer opening groove. The intensity picks up for “Embalmed in Concrete” and then we get the Autopsy ish hues and scrawl of “Death Opus”. Close” Left for the Vultures to Feed” ends things with a final massive lumbering groove and lurch.

There are also some notable guest appearances (mainly guitar solos) from members of bands you expect to appear on such a record like Wretched Fate, Bloodbath, Lik and Katatonia. So it appears these guys already have some respect and pull in their hometown, and the album matches that.

While Necrom’s All Paths are Left Here is still my favorite release in the style for 2022, and even with the likes of veterans Demonical and Entrails (who also should be considered influences here) dropping solid albums in 2022, Katakomba is my clear second favorite album of the genre so far this year. Well done lads.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 19th, 2022


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