Icelandic death metal, does that exist? Looking at metal archives there are only 117 entries, including all genres, from the country where less than 90 of them are active bands, even less so within the death metal genre. Lucky enough for me I received my very first promo from a band called Narthraal, this will be my first listening to a metal band from Iceland so I am quite exited about it.
Inspired by the old school Swedish death metal sound I knew that this could be an album I would really get into, and I wasn’t let down. The filthy and crushing sound you hear from the guitars takes me back to the early 90’s Entombed, Dismember and Grave. Like honestly, just listening to the two first tracks Death of the Undying and Screaming From the Grave you will fall in love with this album even if you’re a fan of that very sound that probably got you into death metal to begin with. Nothing extra added nor over-produced fluff, just simple old school death metal. Love it or hate it Narthraal creates music that they used to listen to themselves and I personally dig this a lot. I mean old school death metal is coming back again, but I think this is one of the albums that are closest to capture the Swedish sound, without being Swedish. Funny note is that the last track on the album is called Dismember the Entombed, I liked that homage to some of the kings of death metal.
It’s raw, brutal, gets you headbanging and reeks of death and filth which is exactly what a death metal album should do. As a debut album I think this is great stuff and I hope to hear more from these Icelandic barbarians in the future. Favorite tracks are Screaming From the Grave, Million Graves to Fill, Descent into Darkness.
Scream From The Grave is out on May 26th through Inverse Records.