Open Up and Swallow
Self Released 2009
Featuring members of Murderplan one would expect a professional, well written album of melodic swedish death metal. Well you'd almost be right. Deathening showcases a more thrash oriented fixation within the framework of melodic leads and powerfully brutal death metal. The album remains undeniably Swedish but has a sound and style not unlike a thrashier more melodic Seance. The album begins with its most traditional composition, Truthfully Deceived. Vicious riffs and snappy drums whip the track into a frenzy before it breaks into a bouncy riff that is subdued by an extended solo. Heavy and groovy are the opening passages on the title track, however these eventually surrender to melodic leads that add just a hint of nostalgia to the song. A modicum of choppy Grave riffing and cement scraping vocals churn The Earth is Flat in a metallic melee. Guitar solos flow calmly against a backdrop of alternating tempos before the songs slows down for a homicidally religious sample. A lonely and somber acoustic guitar comprises the 41 seconds of the instrumental Collusion providing a quick breather before diving back into the firestorm of Mad Gone Blind. The chorus is a jagged emotional ripping out of the listener's heart. Hate Spawn is a seething pressure cooker that continually builds into a disharmonic crescendo and features cacophonous squeals counter pointed with intentionally awkward guitar solos. Though the album is fast-paced, violent, and hateful, I find and undercurrent of sorrow and longing within the melodies that drift effortlessly through the 10 tracks. Open Up and Swallow represents a deadly opening salvo from these Swedish veterans.