"Serpent's Curse"

By Dr. Abner Mality

The press sheet makes the case that Heads For The Dead is some kind of breakthrough for Scandinavian death metal. It is apparent that some extra thought went into "Serpent's Curse" but I would hesitate to say there is anything revolutionary on display here. The roots are definitely in good old Swedish and Finnish DM, but the sound is not a blatant clone of any one band such as Dismember or Grave.

It's the product of Wombbath's Jonny Petersson and Revel In Flesh's Ralf Hauber. These are experienced veterans who know what they're doing. The album has a strange structure to it, alternating longer doom-drenched songs such as "Deep Below" and "The Awakening" with short and violent tracks like "Post Mortem Suffering" and "Death Calls". In the second half, the songs become generally longer and more thought out and the album ends with a cover of Wolfbrigade. I wish I could say this moved me more. The material is generally good, with some interesting arrangements like on "Return To Fathomless Darkness" with its keyboard creepiness, but it's not all that different than what many other bands are currently doing. Hauber's vocals sound like about a million other Swe-death growlers. The guitar tone is raw like Grave but there are sad melodies reminiscent of Desultory as well. I also have to compliment the striking cover art.

I don't know if we'll be hearing much more from Heads For The Dead, but there is something here worth following up on.