Of Fire
Dräparen

No disrespect to Tom Morris, Scott Burns or Dan Swano, but I would argue that of all the ‘legendary’ 90s metal producers, one is a producer and a studio that truly created a sound and one could immediately identify as ‘that sound’. Thats is Tomas Skogsberg and Sunlight Studio. Of course, most will know of his obvious classic Entombed, Dismember, Carnage, Grave efforts and such and some will also know he produced other  truly classic albums by Amorphis, Ebony Tears, Afflicted, Centinex, Therion, Katatonia, Comecon, Konkra, Lake of Tears, Necrophobic and even Old Man’s Child just to name a few.

However, hes been less productive since the 90s, even dabbling in nonmetal, but even with the plethora of copycat producers and studios (which have also been awesome) I’ve tried to keep an eye on anything  he has involved in recently ish with the likes of Interment, Angerot, Mr Death, Paganizer, Sorcery and most recently,  a killer EP from Sweden’s In Pain , traditional metal/doomsters Witchers Creed and the the third album, Dräparen (‘slayer’ or ‘killer’) from Of Fire .

Being named Of Fire, (the opening number from Dismember’s 1997 comeback album, Death Metal) you’d expect a blistering ,razor sharp Dismember rip off or homage, but Of Fire‘s sound while humming with the unmistakable, authentic Sunlight Studio buzz, is a more restrained mid paced death n roll ish band, with more emphasis on the death part and less roll, that’s more Massive Killing Capacity. The 8 songs and 37 minutes rumble by with a controlled lumber and occasional trot, with nary a blast beat in sight.

Look to the likes of opener “Stokholm Blodbad”, utterly crushing  album mid point title track and closer “Atomvinter” to hear the band’s buzzsaw filled , steady, menacing rumble. Even when they do pick up the pace a bit  such as “The Filth and the Fury” and “Satanic Warfare” it’s still a steady, purposeful gait that lets Skogberg’s tones breathe and reverb with patient, destructive gusto, rather than a wall of noise that’s common in many of today’s ‘retro’ Swedish death metal bands. (Just listen to that hanging note in the chorus of “Let Them Hang”…).

I’m probably more excited about this release than I should be due to Skogsberg, but it’s still a damn fine, and exceptional sounding release that makes me grin from ear to ear., and Ill still do so with any death metal he continues to produce.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 27th, 2019

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