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MORDBRAND
MORDBRAND
Imago
(Deathgasm Records)
37:58min

Well, over the last years, Swedish MORDBRAND released quite a few records. Yet, all of them were “small stuff”, three EPs and two splits to be precise. What they had in common was the fact that they featured some of the best Swedish Metal of Death I heard in the last years. So, not only me waited for a longplayer with the full MORDBRAND crossfire. The wait is over! “Imago” is here! And I can say it beforehand that it was worth the wait! On “Imago” we find the whole range of Swedish Death Metal 2014. And this is a pretty wide range for sure. The opening 'Revelate' already has a lot to offer, for it is based on galloping D-Beat grooves that are spiced with with haunting keyboard effects, picking up the intro theme and atmosphere. The slower paced middle part breaks up the fast attack at the right time. With 'Join Them In Thralldom' we find a variable song that impresses with those marching drum breaks of Johan Rudberg at his best. Next we have 'That Which Crawls', and the title says it all! A crawling, haunting monster of a perfect Death Metal song. The following song is a fast one again with fine remarkable lead harmonies by guests Eric Cutler (AUTOPSY) and CC DeKill (GRAVEHILL). 'Their Name Are Myriads' is a killer not just for this reason, but also for the variable riffing and drumming. With 'Hoarding The Grotesque' we have a song pretty typical for MORDBRAND, with all the fine trademarks like Per Boders killing vocals and the great guitar work of Björn Larsson. Another outstanding song on “Imago” is 'Bastion Of Blood', that is more in the slow and doomy tradition of their 7”, but spiced with haunting choirs (provided by the members of RITE) to create a very dark and scary atmosphere. Variable riffing and a speed outbreak dominate this highlight among brilliant feats. Next up is 'The Spawning (Born Of Rot)', a song of a different beat, since it is again dominated by D-beat grooves, yet it features some of those doomy riffs and grooves as well. The title track 'Imago' comes along pretty strange, it's a trippy instrumental with samples that serves as the overture for the final killer 'Sever The Limbs That Grace'. This one simply sums up all the strengths of the album. Honestly, with “Imago” MORDBRAND have created the finest Swedish Metal of Death of the whole decade. As the icing of the cake we have another great artwork of the master of the dark arts, Juanjo Castellano, who also refined last year's “Unmake” EP with a great cover artwork. It's albums like “Imago” that make us reviewers prefer to sit at a computer keyboard in a sticky room instead of spending the day outside in the hot sun. But who needs the sun anyway when darkness has so much more to offer? If you still need to find out more, check: www.facebook.com/officialmordbrand, mordbrand.bandcamp.com, or the label: www.deathgasm.com

Thomas Meyer

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