You know you’re doing something right, when you manage to get the legendary LG Petrov to make a guest appearance on your debut album. That’s what Angerot, a South Dakota based death metal band, have accomplished. From start to finish, this album just screams of the early Swedish Death Metal scene, with a heavy apparent influence from Entombed (even on tracks that don’t feature Petrov).
The album starts off with the instrumental track, Black Epoch, which has some unexpected keyboard work, mixed with a droning guitar. Combined, this gives the track an eerie feel, a feeling that I hoped would continue on throughout the record.
Next up is the first single, Eternal Unrest. The band wasted no time here in bringing the heavy, distorted guitars. It’s got a little bit of everything thrown into the mixing pot here, frantic guitar work, some almost black metal-esque shrieks, and some clever bass work towards then end that really seemed to catch me off guard. The real stand-out from this track, was the almost Kerry King-like solo, which harkened back to Slayer’s early days.
The title track begins with a crushing groove, that is a welcome change from the lighting fast riffs of Eternal Unrest. A complaint from me on this one, is the inconsistency in the music. Once you start to get into the groove that’s going on, it kicks it into high gear, and hits you with devastating tremolo picked riffs. Then on the flip side of that, once the band settles into those riffs, it’s right back to the slow grooves. Normally, I would say this works, but that’s only if the sections compliment each other, and I really feel like they don’t on this particular track. It seems more like they took sections from two different songs, and just kind of threw them together. The real highlight of this track, is the simple, yet catchy, lead lines happening about midway through the song.
Rivers of Chaos is definitely one of the higher points on the album. The vocals on this one, and for a good portion of the rest of the album, are just dripping with influence from Glenn Benton from Deicide, and that is not bad thing in my eyes. The song starts off with some great guitar work, that come back around about midway through. The song ends with a solid, crushing groove, that really seems to put the drummer on display.
Under The Calm, is really where, I feel, that the album starts to slip up. This track really just feels like more of the same; blast beats, tremolo picked riffs, and incredibly guttural vocals. The real memorable part on this track, is the sound clip of the end featuring Bill Pullman’s character in Wes Craven’s “The Serpent and The Rainbow’, simply saying “Don’t bury me, I’m not dead.”
Next we have another instrumental, They Wake At Dusk. This one begins very unexpectedly, as we not only have clean guitars, but some ominous sounding strings being played underneath. I was hoping maybe this would set us up for the rest of album, but it was not to be. The next couple songs really blended together, which made it difficult differentiating one track from the other.
The album closer, Falia Diaboli (Alisin), is by far the best track on the album. For about the first two minutes of the song, it seems like it’s going to mesh with every other track on the album. However, once we hit the 2:30 mark, we get hit in the face with some unexpected keyboards/piano, something we haven’t heard since the intro, and something I feel would have added a major beneficial layer to the other songs. It even contains some very good melodic guitar work thrown in. This was by far the best way to end the album, as anything else played after it, would just feel a bit off.
The overall feel of this album is just pure, 100% Swedish influenced death metal. If it weren’t for the production values here, I would have easily put this album as being released a good 20 years or so ago. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this is definitely an album for you. If you heard Swedish, and metal, and came looking for a more melodic death metal sound, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.