Vanhelgd – Deimos Sanktuarium (Death Metal)


The desecrated are back! With their latest release Temple of Phobos being one of my most played death metal albums these past years since I reviewed it I’ve been looking forward to a follow-up ever since. Now when it’s finally here I am stunned. This is by far the darkest album Vanhelgd has ever made. The lyrical theme on anti-religion and horror is intact but the songwriting has taken a step in a darker, greater direction here. Also has to be added that they keep on having songs in both Swedish and English which is something I’ve applauded them for and still do. The difference is with the last album I thought the Swedish tracks were of higher quality than the English ones, here I find both being superb and I even choose Profaned is the Blood of the Covenant as the best song on Deimos Sanktuarium.

Everything is executed better on Deimos Sanktuarium than on Vanhelgd’s previous albums. The atmosphere is so dark I get scared, something I usually don’t experience in a death metal albums but I do with Vanhelgd, Behemoth or old Eucharist offerings. Very fitting for the theme at hand with the atmospheric doom touch. The crushing riffs are still there but the overall experience on the album as a whole and how the grim world sucks you in is the difference maker here. It’s what separates Deimos Sanktuarium from Temple of Phobos and makes this an even better album. Safe to say if you enjoyed Temple of Phobos you will like this even more.

This album is the definition of a “grower”. It gets better with each listen but at the same time it is not as easy to get into as for example the latest albums from Demonical or Gluttony. I am not holding that against the album though as that is the intentions. One of the best death metal albums you will hear this year, if not the best.

Written by J.B.

Label: Pulverised Records
For fans of: Eucharist and Desolate Shrine
Release date: October 12th, 2018
Favorite song: Profaned is the Blood of the Covenant
Score: 4/5 Incredible



Desultory – Through Aching Aeons (Death Metal)


Here we go, another old school Swedish death metal act is releasing an album! These past years have definitely been good to us swedeath lovers as a new wave of filthy death is taking over. Desultory might not be a name many are familiar with, I wasn’t for example. A brief look into the bands history though and I find out the band was actually formed almost 30 years ago, 1989 to be exact. After some successful demo and full-length releases in the early 90’s the band took a huge hit when Stefan Pöge left the band in 95, thus changing the style drastically on the bands third full-length release Swallow the Snake. An album that has to be seen as a dark spot in Desultory’s discography and ultimately the band disbanded in 96. Reborn in 2009 the comeback Counting Our Scars put the band on the right track once again and now eight years later Desultory are saying goodbye with their last album Through Aching Aeons.

Having not heard Desultory’s past work before I obviously had to listen to it after reading this background story. Safe to say there was some varied quality but also some really really great death metal. So now I knew what I could expect. Or rather to expect that these 43 minutes and nine tracks could be anywhere between heaven or hell. Will it be a Swallow the Snake fiasco or Into Eternity death metal masterpiece. Answer is this is the later. Through Aching Aeons consist of some of the best death metal I’ve heard this year. The guitars, oh the guitars, chainsaw their way through the competition together with Klas Morberg on vocals leaving me stunned on how the hell I can have missed these guys when growing up. It’s a mistake I will atone by listening to this album, over and over again until I know every word, every beat and every riff.

Through Aching Aeons isn’t perfect but death metal isn’t suppose to be. A vile riff feast that’s an homage to everything swedeath stands for is exactly what I wanted and Desultory were kind enough to deliver. I hope this isn’t the last I hear from Desultory, I want more.

Through Aching Aeons is out now through Pulverised Records.

Label: Pulverised Records
For fans of: Entombed and Dismember
Favorite song: Beneath the Bleeding Sky
Score: 4/5

Vanhelgd – Temple of Phobos (Black/Death Metal)


Are Vanhelgd Swedens best death metal band? Many claim they are so obviously I had to visit this Temple of Phobos to see what’s special with them. The name Temple comes from a chain of religious words Vanhelgd use on their albums (Cult, Church, Relics and Temple) with Temple of Phobos being the bands fourth full-length release since their formation in 2007. Vanhelgd, being Swedish for desecrated, comes from a small village in Sweden and hardly tour. I take it that’s the main reason they are not up there with heavy hitters like Entombed, Grave or Unleashed in popularity because I am almost inclined to agree, Vanhelgd is one of Swedens best death metal acts today.

The album got a red line of death from start to finish and you don’t want to skip a single tune until the pale horse has come to take you. The mixture between Swedish and English feels just right here, for example Den Klentrognes Klagan takes my mind towards Behemoth’s wonder Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel but in Swedish. Overall I think Vanhelgd has more in common with Behemoth or black/death metal hybrids than the Swedish death metal such as Entombed just due to the atmosphere during Temple of Phobos, which is chilling and filled with horror and anti-religion. Also half the band is in King of Asgard, which was created by legendary ex-Mithotyn member Karl Beckmann, so I guess that could be an influence of the black metal sound.

I am surprised Vanhelgd has escaped my grasp for so long, even with the hype surrounding them (and my love for King of Asgard) I never stopped by to listen to an album until now. I am glad I finally got around to it though. As a Swedish death metal fan this is pure drogs for my black soul. If you’ve been like me and missed Vanhelgd then you should stop with whatever you’re doing and fix that, listen to Temple of Phobos now! If you do know of Vanhelgd then I sure hope you have visited the temple and spread it’s knowledge to the world.

Temple of Phobos is out now through Pulverised Records.

For fans of: Entombed and Behemoth
Favorite song: Den Klentrognes Klagan