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Entrails - Raging Death Review

by Matt Hensch

Swedish death metal is like alcohol: having a lot of it is always a good time, but too much can induce vomiting, hangovers, poor decisions, and awakening to find oneself drenched in an assortment of questionable bodily fluids. With noteworthy acts from Sweden already performing this vigorous take on death metal, Entrails' "Raging Death" is not substantial enough to make its presence known. Yes, I'm aware Entrails was (sort of) around during the scene's original uprising, and yes, the band has fundamental traits of the identity nailed, but "Raging Death" still ends up sounding like a caricature of an Entombed classic. The album simply expires after a few listens, and the diabolical essence that makes Swedish death metal so attractive is nowhere to be found, and I find myself coming back to maybe two or three of the record's anthems instead of the collective package.

I'll admit "Tales from the Morgue," the first real piece of Entrails, is pretty damn awesome. However, only a fragment of that release's brilliance shines through the vapid and often lackluster material comprising "Raging Death," which is obviously quite discouraging. Entrails is always mirroring the Swedish death metal blueprint at all hours of the day: the standard riffs, commonplace percussion patterns, low growls, and chunky production are all cornerstones of the album. The actual songs are just really, really tedious and boring. Entrails cruises through an endless storm of banal, basic riffs and lame song structures that are pretty much carbon-copies of at least a dozen other groups that have already cooked up this same dish with more vigor and might than Entrails. Hardly anything sticks, and Entrails spends most of "Raging Death" circling itself like an undead dog chasing its rotten tail.

The first three slabs are brutalizing, especially the ripping "Bloodhammer," which is a skin-gnawing groove monster of doom and death. The other seven songs bring little to the table worth mentioning, and very few moments occur that are sharp or eventful. "Death League" boasts a cornucopia of death metal veterans providing guest vocals, but it's useless beyond that. Entrails continues to lifelessly hammer home the same goddamn ideas without any sense of direction by the time Entrails reaches the latter half of the record, and here "Raging Death" becomes almost completely unbearable. Empty song after empty song; barren content is the name of the game. It almost seems like they wrote a track like the two-minute "Defleshed" just to remind themselves that they are, indeed, a death metal band. Just in case someone forgot.

An album like this burns through its usefulness at an alarming rate, and I see no point recommending it to anyone. Giving Entrails some credit, I think the vocals are acceptable, and the production gives "Raging Death" somewhat of a color to work with, yet the body of work still comes out faceless and irksome. Instead of being somewhat of a noteworthy offering within this brand of death metal, Entrails seems to have stereotyped itself through the record's poor demonstration of doing what has been done before; it's just remarkably monotonous and without identity. Entombed, Grave, Necrophobic, Nihilist, Dismember, and countless others have created similar releases that are far beyond "Raging Death" in virtually every regard, so why bother? Listen to "The Nocturnal Silence" instead.

Entrails - Raging Death


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