December 26, 2010 | , | 3.5

Facebreaker, Infected

Facebreaker: Infected

Facebreaker‘s jump from Pulverised Records to the open arms of Metal Blade doesn’t seem to have affected their affinity for the undead or their love of Old School Swedish Death Metal all that much. If anything, this band of mad Swedes continue to bring the heavy with plenty of groove and a full array for death metal trappings, including more matured song writing and polished musicianship.

Infected is a weighty effort full of thick rhythms, massive riffs, burly guitar tones and an improved production that brings much needed depth and power — something their sophomore album, while enjoyable, sorely lacked. Where the bulk of the material from Dead, Rotten and Hungry was more straightforward chugging in nature, the churning malevolence that encompasses the 11 songs on Infected is a good deal more varied, as the guys are more willing to play with tempos and pace a bit.

The transition from the blistering album opener “Creeping Flesh” to the more moderately paced, mid-gallop chug of “Cannibalistic” (one of my favorite tracks on the disc) is a prime example of the band varying their delivery to keep things a bit fresher than the crawling undead they love so much. Not only is the pace of each track varied, but the lengths of the songs also have an impact on the listener. Tracks like “Torn to Shreds,” “Bloodshed” and “Waiting for the Pain” may all come in well under the three minute mark, but they are also some of the speedier songs on the disc.

Those shorter manic blasts are balanced out nicely by some of the weightier, slower monoliths (“Bloodthirst,” “Reanimating the Dead” and the title track). I love the shorter, violent blasts, but it’s the buzzing groove of the slower material where the album really shines. Thick, suffocating riffs swell with thundering groove as the guttural growls accompany you to the grave as you’re buried alive by no-frills, yet massive death metal. I love this shit.

The band’s solid execution (dude, check out the leads peppering this album) and production keeps everything flowing nicely, never losing momentum from track to track as the guys unleash a barrage of bruising death metal. There may not be any frontiers expanded here, but when you’re getting punished severely with bludgeoning blows about your head and shoulders, there’s really nothing more that you need from an album like Infected.