By Dr. Abner Mality

A lot of the Swedish death metal I hear today is pretty routine and out of gas. Many of these newer bands have mastered the form but not the spirit of the old masters. That's what makes Decomposed so refreshing to listen to, because they have got not just the mechanics of old school Swedish DM right but also the intangible atmosphere of decay and morbidity that made stuff like early Grave and Entombed so essential.

I don't have much familiarity with these guys, but I gather they are not exactly a new band. They sound to me like they came right out of Stockholm circa 1990. The rancid production sounds like it was done in a medieval catacomb, but the heaviness is still there, along with that nasty crunch that typified the whole movement. The title track sounds like an out-take from "Into the Grave", but the vocals are different. That moldy graveyard feeling is here in spades! There's a kind of mournful melody to songs like "Abysmal Descent" and "Boiling Blood" that not a lot of newer bands pick up on. That was a very important part of the classic sound. Also, check out the "swing" to the opening riffs of "Bloodsoaked Disarray"...gruesome but catchy.

This album doesn't last long but the faithfulness to true Swedish DM lasts for the entire length, finally ending with the darkness of "Decomposition". Decomposed proves that you can still do this style right if you remember to put the right feeling into it.