Back To The Front
(Century Media Records)
First off, there's been a major delay in getting this "Back To The Front" released, ENTOMBED's 11th studio album - or in this particular case, ENTOMBED A.D.'s debut, due to some inner fights between the original ENTOMBED members about owing the rights to this name (that sincerely said, reached a pretty ridiculous level at some point). Now, when the dust has dropped down onto the ground just a little bit regarding the original issue about who's got the right to use ENTOMBED's name and for what purpose, they solved this argument by putting the name ENTOMBED on hold, for time being at least. The release of "Back To The Front" was finally set to the stone, which will be the beginning of August 2014 - and surprisingly or not, it will be released under the ENTOMBED A.D. moniker instead. When it comes to the band itself, I can hear many of you whining out there, the Swedish Death Metal giants (well, that's what they once used to be in the past anyway) ENTOMBED should be put to an eternal sleep because they haven't been able to make any replicas of either their groundbreaking debut "Left Hand Path" - or at least their superb "Clandestine" album ever since they were released back in 1990 and 1991. I can also clearly imagine some of you ENTOMBED die-hard purists whining that they haven't done anything decent sounding since those 2 aforementioned albums, or how they turned their backs to their loyal die-hard fans by starting this hideous Death'n'Roll thing on their 3rd album, "Wolverine Blues." And if that wasn't enough, I have heard ever more of you crying ENTOMBED hasn't been any ENTOMBED since drummer Nicke Andersson left them to pursue his own career outside the band - and how on earth ENTOMBED even could be ENTOMBED nowadays in the first place, having just vocalist L-G Petrov left from the original line-up. Well, just shut the fuckin' F**K UP everyone and listen carefully: ENTOMBED's 11th studio album (or ENTOMBED A.D.'s debut instead, but then again should we really care after all?), "Back To The Front", is the kind of album that honestly dropped my jaw wide open - right onto the floor when I heard it for the first time, and in a very positive way I mean. And nope, it's neither "Left Hand Path - Part II" - nor it is a continuation of "Clandestine" either but it's still such a monster of an album - nearly sounding like the kind of record they could have started from a completely empty table, sort of allowing them to think the way like they are still able to come up with some worthwhile shit that could bring their fans' belief back to this band again. Sure thing, ENTOMBED (A.D.) have indeed seen better days than "Serpent Saints - The Ten Amendments" or "Inferno" or "Uprising" - or that one somewhat horrendous album that they decided to release back in 1998. As strange and / or ugly as it may sound like, we need to go 13 long years back in time, right to the"Morning Star" album. That's the last time when obviously the majority of us thought ENTOMBED did something worthy for them - and for us, the fans; gave us the kind of an album that introduced ENTOMBED that songwriting wise were sparkling promisingly true fire and brimstones again. How could we possibly ever forget such a great and overly catchy opening song as 'Chief Rebel Angel' was off that record. ENTOMBED (A.D.)'s "Back To The Front" - just like I said it there already, is a fuckin' monster of an album if we strictly put our main focus on the song material on it. It's like a loaded gun that awaits to get ragingly exploded - and in my case it has exploded quite a few times in a row already, I can tell. Right from the catchy and sinfully addictive 'Kill To Live', which has a nice SLAYER-esque guitar riff kicking the song off onwards, there's simply no stop for them to prove us that they are the real deal; being able to write such bombastic and neck muscles softening songs that make people say just about immediately glad they are still around - and keeping the ENTOMBED (A.D.) machine pumping out some heavy, mind-melting shit after so many years. "Back To The Front" doesn't really contain one single weak moment in my sincere opinion; each song on it has well deserved its own place on this record. The lovable Swedes have truly worked their asses off this time, to get "Back To The Front" flow so smoothly and such a rewarding way as it truly does. At times some moments partly throw me back to the "Wolverine Blues" record, then some other parts are clear reminiscences of ENTOMBED's most classic 1990 - 91 era (check out 'Soldier Of No Fortune') - and then there's something totally new going on this new, somewhat fantastic ENTOMBED (A.D.) album that gives all of us a reason or even two, to forgive them some of their past sins during their respectable long lifespan. I even don't want to lift up any particular song above some other songs on "Back To The Front" because I truly happen to like each and every song individually on this record. All the songs are basically loaded with an immense amount of sheer grooviness and beautiful catchiness that it's almost criminal to have both of them so much for just one album. And don't even think that I am just saying this because I would be some sort of an ENTOMBED (A.D.) fanboy because I certainly am not. Making a difference between a completely shitty recording and something that deserves a few extra spins, it's not that hard to make after all - and the latter mentioned alternative certainly applies in this case. ENTOMBED (A.D.) are the true kings of the hill again, yet so deservedly because "Back To The Front" fuckin' rules the old ruins. Extra points must be given for the spine-chilling cover artwork on "Back To The Front", too. More about ENTOMBED A.D. can be found at: www.facebook.com/entombedad, www.centurymedia.com.
- ENTOMBED A.D. - Dead Dawn - by Thomas Meyer