"Manifested Darkness"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Looking to get a quick fix of wart-encrusted old school Swedish death metal? You could do a lot worse than Germany's Revel In Flesh. In the last 2 years, there's been an explosion of bands rediscovering "The Stockholm Syndrome", so to speak, and while there are a few who have gotten more notoriety than Revel In Flesh (Morbus Chron, Miasmal), there's not many who have nailed the sound as well.

These guys wear their influences on their blood-stained sleeves. For Christ's sake, the band is named after an Entombed song! And on "Manifested Darkness", we get songs called "Torment In Fire" (an old Sacrifice album) and "Warmaster" (old Bolt Thrower, anybody?). So there ain't much ambiguity here. It's murky, muddy death metal with buzzsaw crunch and hooks galore. "Rotting In the Void" sounds rather ambitious compared to the rest of the album, even starting with piano, but this helps keep monotony from setting in. For my money, "The Maggot Colony" and "Revel In Flesh" (NOT a cover of the Entombed song!) are the most irresistable slabs of filth. To sweeten the pot, R.I.F. tosses in an Autopsy cover, "Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay".

I would never claim this is the absolute top of the line when it comes to Swedish-style DM, but there is also a place for solid, no-frills acts in this vein...and it is in my collection!