MORDBRAND - Necropsychotic (DEATHGASM - EP 2011)
The recent years have brought us quite a lot of surprising comebacks: of old styles, as well as the reunions of old bands and people, who were involved in the underground bands but were not active in metal music for years and who decided to form a new group – for many reasons, which I’m not going to comment, because what’s the point? Anyway, I can say that I liked some of those returns and this band, Mordbrand, is one of such surprises that unexpectedly came into being. This Swedish trio consists of Bjorn Larsson and Johan Rudberg, who were once members of death metal act Horned and later played together in some punk bands, I think, but I’m not sure if my info is correct. Anyway, those two are not the reason why I got interested in Mordbrand. It’s the third person involved in this project, who caught my attention. His name is Per Boder and I hope some of you remember him from one of the most legendary Swedish death metal troops called God Macabre / Macabre End? To see and hear this guy active again in new death metal band was a real surprise and a real pleasure… you know, it’s good to see that such people are still alive and sort of interested in this style of music and it doesn’t matter what Boder have been doing since the recording of “The Winterlong”, it’s just great to hear him again.
Well, I’ve actually heard about Mordbrand and Per Boder’s involvement in it for the first time, when I bought the EP of Bombs of Hades, band of Johan Stalhammar, another old member of God Macabre. Boder did the guest vocals in Carnage’s cover on this EP and I told myself: “well, this is great, he still knows how to growl!”. I’ve asked Jonas in the interview what’s Per up to and he wrote me that Boder is doing a new project called Mordbrand… and that’s how I discovered “Necropsychotic”. I bought the CD and well, I can tell you that I definitely do not regret spending the money on it, as this is really cool, yet another old styled death metal band.
Musically Mordbrand takes a lot of influence from the good, old Swedish death metal scene, Entombed first of all, mainly from their “Wolverine Blues” LP, Desultory (mainly “Swallow the Snake” CD) or Furbowl’s brand of death’n’roll plus they add some of punk style, plus there’s some hints of… I don’t know maybe “Soulless” era Grave maybe, but in less brutal way. Occasionally it also has some references to the likes of Master and maybe even Autopsy, but in much less obscure way and only in very few parts. And finally there’s quite big influence of death/doom here and there. The whole album is pretty much played in the mid paced tempo (although it also fastens in “Graveyard Revisited”), it’s never overly melodic, but also not too brutal or aggressive, it’s rather more concentrated on groovy riffing, with “Deliverance” taking a different path of doomy and slower death / doom, with the mentioned Autopsy reference, but also with some quite melodic guitar riffs - man, even Novembers Doom would probably enjoy some of them hehe! But this is interesting comparison as the same thing happens with “The Fall of Flesh”, this track really reminds me those Americans, as it’s sort of doomy and melodic and Per Boder’s vocals are sounding very close to Paul Kuhr! I like such tracks as “Eaters of the Void” and “Graveyard Revisited” most, they’re most aggressive and based on the classic Swedish style, but to be honest none of those six tracks fails and all of them have something cool to show, like “Skärseld (Return to the Unholy)” or “Deliverance”.
Anyway, despite the fact that “Necropsychotic” is not an effort, which would break my neck with maniacal, headbanging riffing and ultra violence and despite the fact that I like rough and obscure sounds more (like Repugnant, Maim, Morbus Chron, Bastard Priest or Bombs of Hades), I’ve enjoyed this EP a lot. It may not be anything exceptional and standing above the rest of the current wave of Swedish death metal, but it’s fairly solid and enjoyable throughout. And I can also say that I’ve heard some songs of Mordbrand from their split with Bombs of Hades and they’re getting better and better!
Final rate: 70/100