December 20, 2011 | , | 4

Entrails, The Tomb Awaits

Entrails: The Tomb Awaits

This is one of those times where you should certainly not judge a book (or in this case album) by its cover. One drunken glance at the cover through bleary eyes and one could be forgiven for assuming it was Entombed’s Left Hand Path or some rare import. But, it’s not, though Entrails certainly do play some of the more solid Swedish death metal to be heard this or any of the past five years. There are elements of Entombed, Dismember and more within it’s depths, but this isn’t by any means a retro aping of a favorite death metal style. The beastly shit found on The Tomb Awaits levels any preconceived notions of the band with bulldozing riffs and plenty of groove amongst the dead and dying.

The title track gets us started with a light, almost hopeful bit of acoustic guitar before a few rancid screams announce the arrival of “Unleashed Wrath,” a crushing death metal track if ever there was one. Buzzsawing riffs, guttural growls and rapid fire drums erupt out of the speaker with a ferocity. Man, they’ve got the guitar tone down perfect — I can’t help but get a familiar feeling of nostalgia with these guys. The lead just before the two minute mark leads into some classic sounding riffs with a bit of a Slayer edge to them. The all-too-short “Crawling Death” starts off with big riffs and some piano before descending into a churning mass of zombiefied corpses and flying body parts. The groove/rhythm of this track is infectious as hell — as is the chorus.

The up-tempo chugging “Eaten by the Dead,” the very catchy and memorable “To Live is to Rot” and morbidly awesome gang vocals of “Undead” feel like the peak of the album, as the remaining songs don’t quite carry the same impact as the first half of the album. That’s not to say that they aren’t good, they are and certainly don’t take away from the overall appeal of this awesome album. It’s just that they don’t quite stand out after multiple listens. “The Slithering Below” is one of the more aggressively delivered tracks, “End of Existence” starts off with a slick bit of lead work and “Remains in Red” is utterly devastating.

Entrails is definitely one of those bands that deliver a sound that could fit right along some of the great releases of the early 90s. The Tomb Awaits has that authentic vibe that just feels right, but it also isn’t merely just mimicking the stuff we’ve all been listening to for the past 20 years. The music within the confines of this album is bludgeoning death metal in the Swedish death metal vein and it’s stuff that I could listen to over and over for a very long time. I’m already itching for more bruising goodness from these guys.