CARNATION “Where Death Lies” 

DISRUPTED “Total Death”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Anybody who thinks Swedish death metal is a fad whose time has passed has got to be nuts. There’s more of it now than 30 years ago, it keeps coming in a never ending wave of molten steel. Of course, the forefathers of the genre will always be the best, but do any of the newer bands match up?

DISRUPTED pretty much offer up the raw red meat of the genre without any preservatives or other additives. “Total Death” lives up to the title and is utter chainsaw worship purely in the vein of early GRAVE and DISMEMBER. Nothing more and nothing less. It is ultra-derivative but they generate a lot of gut-ripping horror in short and brutal attacks like “Human Stew”, “Goat Lord”, “Pestilential Vomit”, etc., etc.  They understand what made classic Swedish death metal work and while I can never give full marks to such a bald-faced knockoff, I must give credit where credit is due and say DISRUPTED deliver the putrid goods.

CARNATION is a bit of a different story. Their debut a couple of years ago didn’t impress me an awful lot, as it seemed to be Swedish death by the numbers. Well, I’m happy to say that “Where Death Lies” is an all around better product. They still are not much more original than they were before, but something about this record just clicks. The sound, courtesy of Jens Bogren, is extremely clear without giving up heaviness. They are very true to the Swedish DM roots, but I can sense influence from other areas, such as a strong PESTILENCE feel in first track “Iron Discipline”. The riffs are better and the songwriting just seems to be on a higher plane. I can say that songs like the title track and the epic “Reincarnation” are approaching the classic. One burp is the inexplicable addition of clean vocals to “In Chasms Abysmal”, which just kills the song dead. But in general CARNATION have come up with a strong album of Swedish death metal here and I now have hope for the future of this band.