Descending Through Ashes
After a rather unimpressive debut album despite the impressive background of the musicians involved, I approached the new album from these traditionalist Swedish death metallers with much trepidation. And I must say, Descending Through Ashes is actually quite good. First off, the guitar production kills me. The right amount of mud and fuzz. The opening track has a killer main riff that is a not so subtle nod to the main melody on Edge of Sanity's In The Veins/Darker Than Black. The song as a whole though is groovier than Edge of Sanity. The Plague And The World It Made launches into a metallic tirade of meaty death. The riffs hack and slash like a rabid butcher. Around the 1:58 mark the song takes a turn into pulsing darkness as the riffs get atmospheric and obscure sounding. The guitars have a certain morbid downtuned sound to them without really emulating the Sunlight sound. This really comes to the forefront on a track like Come Winter. The drifting guitars and chunky riffs serve to connect you with the morbid atmosphere of the Swedish scene. Your Final Demise dwells in a bit of more straightforward hostility as it bludgeons you with its guitars and pounding rhythm. A powerful groove and straightforward/streamlined approach similar to Grave's Soulless hits you on From The Valley Of Defilement. As a matter of musical comparison I am somewhat reminded of Grave's Soulless when applied to the album as a whole. The final track, The Coiled is a monster of a song which musically refers to a Swedish classic like Carnage's Dark Recollection. The thick riffs that flow like mud add a layer of evilness to the track. Mr. Death have definitely upped their game in the songwriting and album production departments. Descending Through Ashes batters and demolishes the listener with its straightforward, groove-laden death metal approach. Meaty guitars that assault you like a gang of bloodthirsty maniacs are the centerpiece to this decidedly good album of Swedish brutality.