August 13, 2013 | , | 3.5

Entrails, Raging Death

Entrails: Raging Death

Late in 2011, Entrails gave us the awesome The Tomb Awaits. That album started off with a bit of hopeful guitar before violently grabbing you by the throat and dragging you into the murky depths of hell with vicious, buzzing old school Swedish death metal. This time around the guys open up Raging Death in a similar way with a brief sound clip and the trailing death that follows is impressive but not nearly as ferocious.

It appears as though the guys have misunderstood what “raging” means. A vast majority of the music on Raging Death is mid-tempo, burly death metal, but raging it is not. Speed has been eschewed for more groove and gallop which I’m fine with. I prefer a solid head-banging cadence in my death metal more often than I crave full-throttle mayhem — and Entrails deliver the goods with chugging riffage, memorable choruses and plenty of rotting stench to bring even the most diehard of grave robbers to gleefully nod along with the band.

“In Pieces” gets us started with churning riffs, a catchy-as-fuck chorus and plenty of buzzing texture to fit in nicely with the OSDM template. Much like the rest of the album, it’s got a full sound and a rhythm section that’s quite happy to explore the speed of rigor mortis than say an explosive eruption of festering blasts. Now, that’s not to say the band doesn’t stomp on the gas pedal at all through the album. They do, but in a measured and calculated fashion as seen on “Carved to the Bone.” This song also features a weaving melody behind the chainsaw riffing that adds to the group’s sound nicely. “Bloodhammer” slows things down even more with a plodding yet solid groove and gravelly vocals. It’s another song that will have fans growling along with the second playing.

Both “Headless Dawn” and “Chained and Dragged” feature catchy riffage and some sick soloing efforts. The first ramps up the action after a brief interlude halfway through while the second carries solid riff work over a slower pace. “Cadaverous Stench” and “Descend to the Beyond” channel its inner Entombed a bit too well with guitars that will remind of Left Hand Path and Clandestine. Album closer, “The Cemetery Horrors,” is a decent track that wraps up the album succinctly enough. It’s got the standard old school buzzing riffs but is backed by a more frenzied rhythm.

Entrails may not have produced an essential album here, but I still hold out hope that they can return to the more demanding fury of their previous efforts. The ten tracks here are familiar and comfortable, but don’t really offer much in the way of innovation. Raging Death may not really be that much of a rager, but it’s an album that’s still enjoyable enough to check out, especially for fans of old school Swedish death metal.