DEMONICAL "Death Infernal"

UNDEAD CREEP "The Ever-Burning Torch"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I honestly think that 2011 may the best year for old school Swedish death metal ever. I don't think that even 1990-1992 had better product than what I've been hearing recently...great records from the likes of Miasmal, Morbus Chron, Mordbrand and Tormented. Well, now you can add Demonical's "Death Infernal" to that list.

Demonical is not a new band and their roots go all the way back to the glory days and bands like Centinex. Their previous records were OK, but with "Death Eternal", they have really come into their own. This release is a little bit different than the other stuff mentioned earlier, because it incorporates elements of the more melodic Swedish death like Edge of Sanity and early In Flames and the production is rich and full instead of the rotted analog murk of Morbus Chron and Miasmal. And that's OK, because it makes them less cookie cutter. Don't let the mention of melody scare you off, because the guitar sound is pure Stockholm chainsaw and there's also a lot of the morbid crush that true old school Swedish death metal is known for. The speed is emphasized more, making cuts like "Black Inferno" and "Through Hellfire" totally ripping. "Death Infernal" is about the furthest thing from an original record I can think of, yet it retains more individuality than most albums of its kind and is Demonical's best yet.

Three or four years ago, I might have considered Undead Creep's "The Ever Burning Torch" a top Swedish death album. But in 2011, it sounds very par for the course and too much like many other acts to really make an impression. There's no doubt these Italians' rotten hearts are in the right place and their album is a good stab at early Grave style DM, but it's kind of a case of too much of the same. It's good in a pinch, but if you have a choice, definitely opt for "Death Infernal".