Bleeding Utopia – Where the Light Comes to Die (Melodic Death Metal)

Welcome to hell! With a child choirs singing and eventually ending with the words “welcome to hell” the stage is set when the opener “Ascendants of Hate” kicks off in great fashion. What’s Bleeding Utopia’s game all about you ask? It’s straight up Swedish death metal of the more melodic kind. The same kind of metal you hear from newer Evocation, Centinex, Arch Enemy or Amon Amarth. Funny enough that’s some of my favorite bands within this school. In case you remember in 2017 I thought Evocation’s The Shadow Archetype was a top 5 pick, whereas Centinex Doomsday Rituals and Amon Amarth’s Jomsviking were also high up on my 2016 list! Safe to say if all falls into place Where the Light Comes to Die may just be one of my most played albums in 2019.

Guess what? It does! There is enough meaty riffs here to keep me coming back for months to come with a vocal effort from David Ahlen that’s his best yet! The album has a certain flow to it that makes it really easy to get into but also varied enough for repeatable listens. You got your groovy Amon Amarth madness tracks like “Seek Solace In Throes” and “Already Dead” with “Ascendants of Hate” leaning more towards the great, and in my opinion underrated, Desultory. To top it off there is also a sweet guest appearance by Ryan Knight (ex-Arsis, ex-The Black Dahlia Murder) on “Enhance My Wrath”.

Where the Light Comes to Die is Bleeding Utopia’s best release by far, a big step from their past offerings and the melodic side of death metal is perfectly blended with the brutal onslaught this time around. Also helps that David Ahlen has become a greater vocalist, the years of practice between Darkest Potency and Where the Light comes to Die has developed his game. The mastering and mixing is once again done by Jocke Skog (Clawfinger, Feared, After the Burial, The Haunted etc) who has outdone himself with this one. There was definitely nothing wrong with the mixing on the past albums but this is simply a bit better in all areas. Also a fun note, I use his in-game music kit when I play CS:GO! If you play CS:GO check out the “Skog – II-Headshot” kit as it’s perfect for any metal gamer out there.

You will find plenty of headbang friendly material here and for those waiting for the upcoming Amon Amarth album Berserker this is the perfect album to take for a spin in order to make the wait a bit easier. Swedish melodeath at its finest!

Written by J.B.

Label: Black Lion Records
For fans of: Amon Amarth and Evocation
Release date: March 22nd, 2019
Favorite song: Already Dead
Score: 4/5 Incredible


Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)


Mordbrand means arson and is not only a horrible act but also one of Swedens best death metal acts that’s spawned this last decade. Having listened to their compilation album Hymns of the Rotten several times this past year I knew Wilt was something to look forward to. Why you ask? Because in this trio you got Per Boder, the vocalist who has been on the frontline to create the Swedish death metal sound with God Macabre. Joining him we got Björn Larsson (who plays for God Macabre since the resurrection in 2013) and Johan Rudberg. This trio has made some of the best death metal music these past years (their debut Imago came out in 2014) and it’s a band that I personally feel will should be up there among the greats soon if they keep this up. My only question to this release is if they can? Is Wilt as good as Imago or Hymns of the Rotten?

Short answer is yes, yes it is. I am not sure how Mordbrand does it, have they made an pact with Satan? Have they found the pick of destiny? Becuase wow I keep getting stunned by this band. Every single song is a hit to me. Every single song. It’s pure death metal which is perfectly produced and every single riff is a headbanger. The songwriting is great and heck even the album cover is freaking art. This year has been too kind to me. As a lover of death metal I’ve not only got to listen to releases from the more known acts such as Immolation, Firespawn, Evocation and Entrails but also found new bands like HerezA and now got something confirmed. Confirming that Mordbrand are here to stay, they are one of Swedens best death metal bands full stop. If you think otherwise listen to Wilt, or any other album in their already great discography.

I am basically too much in awe of this band right now that I shouldn’t even write in all honesty. I usually take an album for a few spins, cool down and then try to make a fair judgement (read my Svart Crown review for example) but this is so good I starting writing this review before I’d even give Wilt it’s first run. I mean fuck, already three tracks in I was asking myself if Bleed Into Nought, Delivering the Gods or Worship Predation was going to be choosen as my favorite track. Fact is they are all good in their own right and I could pick a song at random and still be happy with my choice.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Mordbrand is one of Swedens best death metal bands. It’s a beast that’s been unleashed and ready to ravage the world with death. I suggest you get Wilt now through Carnal Records.

Label: Carnal Records
For fans of: Evocation and Grave
Favorite song: At the Larvae Column

Entrails – World Inferno (Death Metal)


Ah Entrails, a band I always know what to expect from. Solid old school death metal with crushing riffs. For those of you that don’t know the band has a quite interesting history. Entrails was formed in 1990 but never actually released anything as they were never satisfied with their demo recordings so the band eventually died out. However in 2008 the guitarist Jimmy Lundqvist resurrected the band and in 2010 (20 years after their original formation) Entrails debut album Tales from the Morgue was finally released. Since then the band has been very active and released some killer albums with World Inferno being the bands fifth full-length album.

So how does World Inferno stack against their solid discography of death metal madness? It has to be said Entrails definitely knows how to create death metal by now. Just like their past albums this is a most have for fans of old school death metal. It’s a hard hitting and soul ravaging tank coming at you. Entrails have always had a nack to get those catchy tunes going which you will find yourself singing along to the course already on the opening track World Inferno.

It’s hard to say if this album is better or worse than the rest because, just like with their older albums, this is simply solid. They deliver what you expect of them, nothing more nothing less and they don’t have to with the band being a go to for many death metal fans. World Inferno is an album you will need to grab if you want some riff friendly music that is sure to make you bang your heads. If you’ve liked their past albums you will have a good time with World Inferno as well that’s for sure. Favorite tracks on World Inferno are Condemned to the Grave, Serial Murder (Death Squad), Insane Slaughter and Suffer.

World Inferno is out now through Metal Blade Records.

Label: Metal Blade Records
For fans of: Entombed and Grave
Favorite song: Serial Murder (Death Squad)

Valgrind – Seal of Phobos (Death Metal)


Despite the name Valgrind being Swedish (it’s the main entrance to Valhalla) the band in itself is from Italy. If you’ve read my blog this year then you probably know by now that I really dig what Italy has produced this year, with some of the best releases having come from there. Valgrind is a band that’s been going for a long time, since 1993, but only produced demo’s until 2002 when their first EP came out then in 2012 they released their debut full-length album Morning Will Come No More. Seal of Phobos is a five track EP continuing Valgrind’s crusade and last years death metal goodness Speech of the Flame.

Seal of Phobos will leave no death metal lover standing still as it features a flurry of crushing riffs and is aggressive as hell. This will surely get your blood pumping. The bands newest member, guitarist Umberto Poncina, makes a fine debut and might be one of the reasons why this sounds like Valgrind’s heaviest release as of yet. The solos are on point and I only got one negative thing to say about this EP really, that it’s only an EP and not a full-length album! I love myself some classic death metal and when it’s done this well I can’t do anything else than to sit back, take a sip of my beer and headbang in joy. The two favorite tracks for me are the two last ones, Traitors Will Bleed and Ekphora’s Day, where Jonny Petterson (Wombbath, Ashcloud and Henry Kane) makes a great guest appearance.

Seal of Phobos is a solid pickup for anyone who wants some classic hard hitting death metal. It’s Valgrind’s most aggressive release yet and also their best, it’s looking really well for their upcoming full-length. Seal of Phobos is out now through Everlasting Spew Records.

For fans of: Morbid Angel and Monstrosity
Favorite song: Traitors Will Bleed

Narthraal – Screaming From The Grave (Death Metal)


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.

For fans of: Entombed and Dismember
Favorite song: Screaming From the Grave

Firespawn – The Reprobate (Death Metal)


I’ll be honest with you guys I shouldn’t even be reviewing this album. Know why? Because Firespawn is one of my absolute favorite death metal bands and I am bound to give it all the praise it should get. Then again fuck it, I loved this album before it was even announce and listening to the singles Serpeant of the Ocean, Blood Eagle and Death By Impalement didn’t make me love it any less. The album even starts with Serpeant of the Ocean and Blood Eagle, just to get me into the death metal mood and loving ways of the Firespawn straight away.

You might also wonder, “Jimmy how is it you’re such a fan of Firespawn?”. Well let me tell you why! The band consist of one of my favorite vocalists L-G Petrov (ex-Entombed, ex-Nihilist), with members from some of my favorite bands Unleashed, Necrophobic and Dark Funeral. Would you call this a super group? Fuck yeah! Does it live up to the expectations you might have of a band featuring those said members? Fuck yeah! This is Lucifer made into flesh. Darkness is upon us friends and it is bloody sweet. To me this is death metal perfection, it has the vocalist we all think of when it comes to death metal, the riffs that screams for a headbanger to groove to it and drumming of thunder that even Tor would be jealous of. I simply can’t give these guys enough praise. I did say I shouldn’t review Firespawn due to it but here you are still reading me rambling on about how great they are. If you like death metal you will like Firespawn’s sophomore album The Reprobate, that’s just the way it is. They might not have made everything right with Shadow Realms (that said it is bloody great, I just don’t think it lived up to the hype) but with The Reprobate they have. It’s an album filled with darkness and great music to come with it, wrapped up in a great album cover. What’s there not to like?

If I still gave scores to my reviews this would be a perfect ten. I like many genres but death metal is closest to my dead soul. This is the kind of music I live for, or die for. Firespawn – The Reprobate is out now through a brand that has most of my favorite bands signed, Metal Blade Records.

For fans of: Entombed and Unleashed
Favorite song: Serpeant of the Ocean

Puteraeon – The Empires of Death (Death Metal)

Ah here we are again, Swedish death metal goodness! I was actually recommended this album a couple weeks ago but due to my black metal spree it had to wait. Now is the time to hear when the empires of death go to war and sounds the war drums. Puteraeon were formed in 2008 and were quick to create three demo recordings in a year. It wasn’t until 2011 their debut album came out though, The Esoteric Order. Which quickly lead to the sophomore album Cult Cthulhu in 2012. Since then the band has released another full-length plus a split album with Revel in Flesh. The Empires of Death is actually the bands first EP featuring three tracks Providence, At the Altars and Epitaph.

Providence lays the putrid ground for the the Empires of Death to spew it’s filth of death. Whispers in the wind and horrifying tunes like taken from a grave turns into a massive onslaught of riffs with your classic death metal vocals. This is the same type of sound that’s made Grave famous and I am loving it. Following that track comes At the Altars. It’s punishing and relentless, doesn’t hold back at all and you’re getting offered some great solos and riffs on this song with tempo changes that hypes you up. To end The Empires of Death march towards destruction is Epitaph. It’s the shortest track on the album but it’s still filled with the same type of Swedish old school death metal goodness like the other two tracks, just more compact and full-throttle all the way through, making it my favorite track on the album.

Great EP, 12 minutes might be cutting it a bit too short even for an EP. I wouldn’t mind a song more but that’s only because I really liked this album and it’s a real tease that you go “it can’t end now!?”. That in itself is a good review and old school death metal fans around the world should check out Puteraeon’s latest offering to the metal community The Empires of Death. Out now digitally through Spinnup.

For fans of: Grave and Revel in Flesh
Favorite song: Epitaph