If there was ever such a thing as memorable death metal, Laethora would be a hell of an honorable mention, and yet you would never expect Niklas Sundin of Dark Tranquillity paired with Joakim Rosen and co. from Goth rock’s The Provenance to produce a death metal record in the first place. At the same time, don’t expect another record filled with blistering drums and cool riffs. March Of The Parasite has a certain aura about it, due to multiple elements that will be further discussed, and fails to fall into a niche, other than being unrelenting in all its moods.
According to interviews, Sundin said the purpose of the band “was to create something very organic and gritty sounding that would differ from most of today's lifeless and overly clinical death metal productions. More dirt under the fingernails, so to say.” While not everyone is as critical about the scene, it can be hard to disagree at times, and when hearing tracks like Black Void Remembrance or Y.M.B. the intense dedication to the overall composition of the record is obvious. You will notice that the production greatly impacts the sound of the album as well. A hefty amount of music these days tends to want to sound over-refined in terms of production. Laethora made a conscious decision to put a layer of sand paper across the mixing board to *** it up until it was just right. Another quote from the band pertaining to the sound: “The sound of rusty nails driven through the heart of the world while one-eyed S&M gimps in Emperor shirts whip themselves silly under showers of clown blood and red wine.” Perceptions are a beautiful thing.
In terms of this organic element Sundin referenced, it could be perceived by how enthusiastic the record surges through its runtime, what with the almost nostalgic quality seeping through the band’s unique feel. They can create an atmosphere in a remotely similar way of early 90’s black metal in that they don’t need keyboards to develop their aura, and this characteristic in death metal can be rarely mentioned. Aside from that, the attitude is a prevalent component of the album’s impact. Songs like Imposters and Scum Of Us All reek of the passion of demolishing present death metal stereotypes (let alone your room), even lyrically. Some of the lyrics are improvised on the spot, which gives a sense of urgency that you can’t necessarily get with “assembled” lyrics. With Jonatan Nordenstam’s throat-tearing vocal style that’s more vicious than a hammer smashed face at his worst mixed with Sundin and Rosen’s malicious riff style, these songs become fairly hard to ignore.
March Of The Parasite is not an album to take lightly. It’s more than a side-project for both the members and the fans, and if you can mix pinches of doom and grind with this new edge on the same song in multiple accounts then you may have entered post-death metal territory. This isn’t revolutionary by any means, but it’s damn original, and certainly not your older brother’s death metal. This record gets four out of five horns in the air for being the whirlwind of new, filthy breath in today’s music. The agonizingly measured, malevolent death everyone unwillingly deserves.