Thursday, 8 March 2012

SEANCE - Fornever Laid To Rest (1992)

01  Who Will Not Be Dead   
02  Reincarnage   
03  The Blessing of Death   
04  Sin     
05  Haunted   
06  Fornever Laid to Rest   
07  Necronomicon   
08  Wind of Gehenna   
09  Inferna Cabbala

Generally when digging into the old school death metal surface one generally encounters bands like Cryptopsy, Entombed, Gorguts, Immolation and Suffocation early, before finding less well known bands. However, some bands are unknown to a great deal of old school death metal followers, despite crushing and skilled performances on album. Seance definitely fits in this group, and on their first album they deliver a mix of the crushing power of Dismember and other fellow Swedish bands with the speed of American bands such as Malevolent Creation. It's fairly easy to say that the musicianship displayed on this album is fairly standard of the death metal crowd, which generally means very strong indeed. The Haunted main man Patrik Jensen plays brutally powerful riffs with co-guitarist Tony Kampner, with both speed and brutal slow sections being featured in their playing. Vocalist Johan Larsson provides fairly standard vocals and a nice and audible bass to the mix, while drummer Micke plays fast double bass and some interesting time signatures at times, but always with precession and power.

The album immediately throws a quick punch with Who Will Not Be Dead, showing the great speed and prowess as it storms through several powerful and catchy riffs with Larsson providing some some of his more guttural vocals before the song slows down into a technical set of riffs. Similar power is provided by tracks like The Blessing of Death and Haunter, both of which capable of satisfying the Swedish death metal listener and the American death metal equivalent (though especially the latter as the tracks certainly feature greater speed than the average Swedish type song). Reincarnage is closer to a Swedish death metal style song at times and also provides technical goods on top of that, and Necronomicon provides plenty of crushing and slow riffs with the occasional interesting vocal effect. Pretty much every track here is good, even the close to filler Winds Of Gehenna, which is entirely instrumental but still an entertaining track.

If there's any problem with this album it's how overly consistent it is.
Sure, this is 'generic' death metal, with no particular characteristic that separates it from the pre-existent array of artists, but for some reason, Fornever Laid to Rest has such a solid quality about it that it never grows old or tired. A million riffs race past at varied speeds, and few of them stick, yet the sheer force of their delivery and the undisputed veracity of the performance sends them deeper into the sphere of remembrance than they might otherwise have delved. It's not the most menacing or evil of efforts for its day, but the pervasive darkness and ghastly aesthetic conjurations of Dan Seagrave's cover art make it a minor classic to be cherished by all who pine for an opaque bludgeoning.

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