Monday, 19 March 2012

DEATH BREATH - Stinking Up The Night (2006)

01  Death Breath
02  Chopping Spree
03  Heading for Decapitation
04  Dragged Through the Mud
05  Coffins of the Unembalmed Dead
06  A Morbid Mind
07  Reduced to Ashes
08  Christ all Fucking Mighty
09  Flabby Little Things from Beyond
10  Cthulhu Fhtagn!

If you know what Swedish Death Metal stands for, you already know exactly what this sounds like. Dirty and primal with mostly nods to thrash metal and punk overall, just like the early days of the Death Metal scene, this album will be Stinking Up Your CD player. Lyrics about death, dismemberment, mutilation, cannibalism, zombies and Cthulu, plus shitty production makes it almost hard to believe this record was made after 91-92. Nicke Andersson must’ve realized that Entombed hasn’t recorded anything approaching compelling since Hollowman, and a project like Death Breath would create the perfect nostalgic outlet. Moreover, he must’ve remembered that drinking, having roadkill for hair, and playing old school death metal is something that stays in the blood.

Drumming-wise, there isn’t a blastbeat in sight here. The fastest thing usually incorporated is the polka-style beat that a lot of old Death and Thrash bands use. The drumming fits the music well, and slows down accordingly whenever the guitars start playing slower, doomy riffs. Along with slower riffs, the guitars also can speed up greatly, especially on songs like Chopping Spree. For the most part, the guitars play simple, downtuned riffs that sound very much like they could’ve come from Autopsy’s Severed Survival. The vocals are one of the most notable things about this album, since nearly every track has a different vocalist. There are only three tracks that are sung by the main credited vocalist, Robert Perhsson, and those three tracks are 1 (which also has backing vocals by Fred Estby), 4, and 7. Scott Carlson sings tracks 2, 5, and 8, while tracks 3, 6, and 9 are sung by Jörgen Sandström.

Kudos to the thick analog production: nice and full, yet never slick. And also to the amazing album design, which is slightly reminiscent of Napalm Death's "Scum" sans the anticapitalist slant. Overall, Stinking Up The Night is a nice warm-up for an extremely talented group. Each song is unique and heavy, but not quite as exhilarating as I would have expected. Look for this band's next release, which should (hopefully) be an improvement over this one, as it could possibly one of Death Metal's new classics. Until then, picking this one up shouldn't hurt for the curious.

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