ENTRAILS - Raging Death (METAL BLADE - LP 2013)
Entrails’ “Raging Death” was for sure one of the most expected albums in the recent months, I really wanted to get it asap, but somehow it took me two months, before I putted my hands on the vinyl (finally). Obviously I already have had both previous full length records, as well as a split 12” with Ominous Crucifix, in my collection, all three are just superb releases, so Entrails quickly became one of my favourite bands of nowadays, but the fact that they’ve signed a deal with Metal Blade was something what gave me some troubles. First of all, I don’t understand why all of a sudden all these big labels wanna sign bands, which they wouldn’t give a damn shit about few years ago… OK, I know – the reason is one, but simple: trends, money… but sometimes signing with a major record label brings some unwanted changes and not always the new music turns out to be as good, as it was, when the band was in a small, independent underground label and was known to only few hundreds of maniacs. For instance I must say that I completely don’t like Century Media’s singing Necrowretch. Their new album (“Putrid Death Sorcery”) is just boring and didn’t impress me at all. So I was also worried a little about Entrails. I hoped they won’t turn into some boring melodic death metal a’la Amon Amarth or some other crap… and well, I am happy to announce that signing with Metal Blade didn’t infect the music and Entrails is still as furious, creepy and killer old school Swedish death metal band as they were when they’ve recorded the previous albums. Sure, production wise “Raging Death” is a step forward for the band; the sound is crisp, clean, powerful and sort of modern, but with the necessary dose of harshness and dirt to maintain its natural, old school feeling. I have only positive words about it, to be honest!
Now about the songs… Well, according to Jimmy the two previous albums were more or less, but a collection of his old songs or riffs he composed back in the early 90’s, so now “Raging Death” is the first album for which the band (now a four piece) had to sit down and compose the songs. Well, I wouldn’t even guess that, as the whole material sounds just as good and as old styled as the earlier releases and more so, I think that these guys just have a natural feeling, passion and enthusiasm for this sort of playing, which makes the songwriting very easy and spontaneous for them. OK, maybe not all the songs from “Raging Death” are perfect; there may be a couple of fillers, but there’s never a sign of boredom or anything like that. The overall quality is very high and the album is very good, with some exceptionally awesome songs, which just shred to pieces instantly. For the whole LP I may have one complain and I don’t know whether you’ll agree with me or not, but well, I must write this… I don’t really understand the point of doing the finishing part of “The Cemetery Horrors” and to make it sound exactly like Entombed’s “Left Hand Path”. To me this already is a legendary theme and Entombed did something AWESOME when using the creepy melody from “Phantasm” horror… adding it into death metal song was so damn wonderful and it is one of my favourite songs of all time; for sure it is one of the best and most memorable death metal moments of all time. Entrails did exactly the same and I don’t know what to think about it… From one hand for sure it sounds great, but it is such a clear rip off that it has no sense at all. I understand playing similar music, but to use exactly the same motif, especially one, which is so characteristic and legendary, is a mistake and misunderstanding for me. Sorry Jimmy, but that’s how I feel. Having riffs and style similar to the old bands is one thing, but why would you just copy something what someone else did? Haven’t you got enough comparisons to Entombed (your old logo, the artwork for “The Tomb Awaits”) so you had to do your own version of “Phantasm”? Who cares if it sounds great… if I wanted to hear it I would play “Left Hand Path”, you know? Of corpse I suppose the band wanted to create a creepy horror atmosphere, but more creativity is required here rather than copying something what Entombed did 20 years ago. Another small accusation I have for the song “Cadaverous Stench”, which sounds too much like Unleashed hehe. But for some that may actually be a positive thing hehe!
I still like “Raging Death” a lot, but definitely I have some mixed feelings about it. Luckily these things don’t overshadow the positives of “Raging Death”, which are just some excellent songs. And first and foremost I would need to mention “In Pieces”. Fuck, what a killer song it is!!!!! It is just infectious and damn memorable death metal tune and when I play the vinyl I usually play this song few extra times, so great it is. And that chorus: “Beyond the living, beneath the dead… they will rot in pieces!!!!!!!!!!!” Arrrghhhhhhh, damn impossible to resist the necrolust; beware the necrophiliac maniac!!! I always growl with Jocke these lines hehe! And then there’s "Bloodhammer”, which also just rips the guts out mercilessly. Again – I love it! These two songs alone prove that Entrails is still very creative and have skills and ideas to compose classic, killer tunes of metal of death. And in between there’s also “Carved to the Bone” – a great death hymn about cannibalism; love it, its creepy atmosphere and infectious atmosphere. All these three songs are perfect for me, but there are more fine tunes here. On side B my favourite would definitely be “Descent to the Beyond”, which is killer, groovy song, with great, hooky riff and killer eerie atmosphere. Supposedly “Death League” should also be something special, especially as it holds some guest vocal performances (from Dan Swano, Kam Lee, Rogga Johansson and Jörgen Sandström), but since I cannot distinguish when each of these guys growls – as all vocals sound the same – I see nothing extraordinary about it; it’s good and solid song, but nothing more. It’s nothing like Desaster’s “Metallized Blood” at least, if you know what I mean. I am afraid that just like on the previous LP also on “Raging Death” Entrails didn’t avoid having some fillers on the album and I think that such songs like “Defleshed” are just a little boring… In that case even “The Cemetery Horrors” sounds great, despite that “Phantasm” motif… and finally Entrails has also recorded the cover of Marduk’s “Dark Endless”… and you know what? It is my least favourite album of Marduk, I don’t like it so much, but this song, the way it sounds and has been played on “Raging Death”, is just killer, better than the original. It is amazing how death metal and classic Swedish it now sounds hehe, with that guitar tone and death metal vocals. I really do like this cover and while I was quite sceptical about the choice of it, now I must say that it was excellent decision. You know, when Demonical recorded Emperor’s “Night of the Graveless Souls” I didn’t like their version at all. And this is why I was so sceptical. I am happy then that Entrails did this song so well and I like it more than the original!
Standout tracks: “In Pieces”, "Bloodhammer”, “Carved to the Bone”, “Dark Endless”, “Descent to the Beyond”
Final rate: 86/100