Perhaps one of the most recognisable characteristics of the old-school Swedish death metal sound from the early 90s is the crunching guitar tone. Reminiscent of a buzz saw spinning at full throttle, bands like Entombed and Dismember best employed the tone that delivers a jolting spark, igniting a very heavy and addicting sound. A sound that has inspired many newer metal acts around the world and has kept fans of death metal enthralled over the years. Showing their roots and devotion to the classic sound of death metal from their homeland, Swedish dependables Feral offer a wall-to-wall production of buzz saw guitar tone, flesh-ripping riffs, and absolute carnage on their latest album, ‘Flesh For Funerals Eternal’. Referring to them as dependables only seems fitting considering their catalogue that started in 2007, has consistently delivered a solid display of ripping death metal. With Flesh For Funerals Eternal, released through Transcending Obscurity Records, these guys offer a more grisly representation of their sound and present some of their heaviest work to date for all fans of Swedish death metal to drool and rejoice over.
It’s been a while since a band inspired by this line of death metal has injected such invigorating life into an already established and classic style; adding new ingredients to an older recipe to create something refreshing. Twist and turns through Grave-inspired riffs lay the groundwork for this thick, yet demonising production. Vaults Of Undead Horror introduces Feral’s high quality brand of death metal at high speeds, thrashing through various tempo changes and leading into the riff-fest Black Coven Secrets. Throughout the record, the band stays engaged in a bludgeoning mode of unwavering brutality, utilising string work that has the potential to tear through flesh (which is no exaggeration). Reinforcing that notion is tracks Of Gods No Longer Invoked and Stygian Void, where the untamed sounds forged by Feral come to life through the rabid and ruthless riffing of guitar players Markus Lindahl and Sebastian Lejon. The relentless and meaty bass work of Viktor Klingstedt adds a strong backbone and allows for the harrowing howls of vocalist David Nilsson to sound that much more ravaging.
The album presents a substantially heavier atmosphere on tracks like Gathering Their Bones, Accursed, and Horrendous Sight, where the band delivers crashing waves of robust guitar chords and more grooving percussion carried out by drummer Roger Markström. The consistency of demolishing production quality lends itself to the heaviness of these tracks, ones that bulldoze their way through the speakers.
The track Buried keeps the heavy momentum going, but comes with a more haunting appeal to it. The whole idea of being buried alive is explored and the tireless growls of Nilsson generate high levels of gruesome horror to strengthen that image. Leaving plenty of gas left in the tank, Bled Dry closes the album the same way it began, with thrashing speed and barbaric force. Feral unleash a fury of thrusting instrumentation, including similar rapid tempo changes heard from the beginning track and more enticing riffage. It is an ambitious conclusion that will have battle vest-wearing metalheads going absolutely ape shit.
Flesh For Funerals Eternal stays on the brutal side of the fence, never letting up, not even for a customary melodic or acoustic interlude. Feral designed a sound centred around the brutality of old-school Swedish death metal, a sound that fuels their fire and undoubtedly works in their favour. Although the group doesn’t deviate too far outside of what we’ve heard from the legends that pioneered the genre, what Feral does is play their music to perfection and keeps it very exciting.
You can purchase Feral’s ‘Flesh For Funerals Eternal’ here.