Sabtu, 1 Oktober 2011


the late 90s and early 00s the Swedish death metal scene was overrun by melody. Nearly every album exported from Sweden for the better part of a decade was a softer, gentler version of death metal that grew softer and more melodic with each passing year and each passing release until the releases could no longer even be described as death metal, it was just a mound of melodic mushy shit. In recent years, however, the underground has begun to stir and slowly, but surely the venomous hate spewed by the first wave of Swedish death metal bands has begun to bubble to the surface and fans, and the major metal labels, are starting to take notice.
AS YOU DROWN is one of the new bands emerging out of Sweden who embrace a heavier, angrier sound and putting the “death” and “metal” back into the term “death metal”, although they also seem to be adding the suffix “core” as well. The quintet’s Metal Blade Records debut, REFLECTION, isn’t an ode to the early days of Swedish death metal like ENTOMBED,CARNAGE, NIHILIST, DISMEMBER, UNLEASHED and the like, but more a reflection of the current death metal scene, with heavily triggered drums, raspy barks, chuggy guitar tones and choppy riffs.
The most surprising aspect of REFLECTION is the production, which is very atypical of Swedish death metal and more akin to Swedish grindcore with the material having a strong NASUM sound to it. The chuggy riffs spread throughout the album’s 34 minute run time are a little unusual, having a sound more closely related to deathcore or metalcore than death metal, but the material is still heavy enough to have an overall death metal sound.
The song writing is okay, although none of the album’s 9 tracks are particularly memorable. The material just lacks any true depth to make me want to listen to this album repeatedly, it’s simply “okay” and not a terrible listen but as soon as I turn it off I can’t remember what I just heard and have to start it up again just to be reminded of how forgettable the album is.
There’s really nothing about AS YOU DROWN that will make you stand up and take notice. They play rather tedious, safe and predictable death metal that isn’t very inventive, although they do play it rather well. The NASUM sound is somewhat interesting, but the song writing is so uninspired I doubt anyone will bother listening to REFLECTION more than a couple of times before sticking it on a shelf to collect dust. This isn’t a horrible album, it’s just not a very interesting one. It’s a decent start, but these guys have a long way to go before they’ll inch their way up beyond mediocrity and stick out from the pack.


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