Muspellheim
Violent By Design

Disconcert Music has done a solid job of reissuing albums by the likes of Canopy, Agony, Stigmatized, Symbiontic, etc, and now they have added the 2007 self released debut from Canada’s Muspellheim, winners of the 2006 Long & McQuade Metal Fest (apparently judged by Gene Hoglan and Devin Townsend).

Boasting a razor sharp production and mastering effort from Alan Douches, Violent By Design is a solid example of modern melodic black/death metal that’s one of the few bands that seems to have copied God Dethroned as far as the balance of melody and savagery. A comparison enforced by Alexei Melnikov’s Henri Sattler styled rasps. You can also hear some Hypocrisy and Necrophobic is the bands black/death stylings.

Even for an almost 3 year old record, Violent By Design holds up fairly well. It’s a brisk 30 minutes with nary a note wasted with eight songs that rarely wander or take their time to get going. Only opener “Hate Found, Love Lost” takes it time, with an acoustic, choral intro before the bands careens into a delivery that’s tight, intense and full of Scandinavian sounding conviction. And while none of the track really blew me away or elevate the band to an elite status, the tracks are all enjoyable with ample moments that show the band are certainly competent song writers as well as musicians (“Rat Emperor”, “Morbid Divinity”, “Grim Land”) and a nice little melodic outro to close “WreckAge” show the band has the ability to let up on the throttle should they chose.

A pretty solid release, but I’m interested to see how the band has progressed over the last three years and see if they can improve on this promising debut with some new material in the near future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 10th, 2009

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