MOONDARK "The Shadowpath" 

MORBID VOMIT "Return to the Crypt"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Right now the tidal wave of retro Swedish death metal shows no sign of abating. More and more of it is sounding tired and worn out. But if you dig in the graveyard long enough, you can still find some juicy remains. Here are two bands that hit the spot when it comes to old school grue.

Moondark are the veterans of the pair. They were around during the first wave of Swedish death in the early 90's, but like so many bands from that period, they couldn't land the all-important record deal. In the 21st century, though, just having a well-regarded demo seems reason enough for a comeback. And in Moondark's case, it's a good one! These guys are sick, dirty and mean, to paraphrase an old Accept song. The production is caveman standard and the band plays doomy, dragging death with a real feeling of sickness and decay. A cross between slower Grave and Rottrevore is how I'd describe them. You can't fake this kind of morbid evil. The recent Wombbath is still superior to Moondark but not by much! If you're looking for tales of rotting corpses rising from mist-haunted crypts, Moondark is your band!

Morbid Vomit actually hail from Finland, but Sweden is their musical heartland. The name is generic but their tunes have punch. Faster and more aggressive than Moondark's diseased crawl, these guys remind me of prime Vomitory with their mean attack. The songs are short and to the point...only a bizarre cover of Ghost's "Prime Mover" sticks out like a sore thumb. It's not as "rotten" sounding as Moondark,but that would be hard to match anyway. They don't have any originality but at least the desire to kill is there.

These might be hard to track down, but are worth the hunt for the true Swe-deth fiends.