Review Summary: Swedish Death Metal RAWRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
I have a problem. A big ***ing problem. Every day for the past couple of years my senile beagle howls loudly and obnoxiously in the early hours, preventing me from ever getting a good night’s sleep. A day doesn’t go by where I think about punting him in the lake, but I love my dog so that’s out of the question. Fortunately, on one of those days where good ol Sparky had me up at 5:30 with his incessant begging, I went on the internet and promptly discovered a crushing new Swedish death metal band called Revolting. Led by Rogga Johansson (Ribspreader, Paganizer, ex Deranged) and featuring what looks like a Cthulhu meets Creature from the Black Lagoon hybrid chasing a blonde woman on the album cover, I felt inspired to check this band out due to their blend of campiness and traditional Swedish brutality.
“Dreadful Pleasures” is the band’s first full length album and encompasses everything I love about Swedish death metal and then some. Extremely guttural vocals, meaty grooves, breakneck rhythms, detuned chainsaw guitars, cheesy stage names and blistering solos make up one hell of a listening experience for fans of the earlier sound (Grave, Carnage, Entombed). A decidedly modern touch is felt throughout their music with tasteful production and a horror film fetish as evidenced by the cover and song titles “They’re Not Human” “Overtaken By The Crawling”. Length wise, Dreadful Pleasures falls on the relatively short side, coming in at nine tracks and thirty minutes. However, Rogga and crew waste no time in getting down to business.
First and foremost, the greatest aspect of this record is the guitars. Nothing fancy or overly technical/melodic, Revolting Rogga plays it straightforward with drop d chugging, heavy on the rhythmic scale. Infused with punk rock energy, each song boast’s it own catchy hook and head bobbing groove which should appeal to newbie’s, grizzled veterans or those that enjoy death metal in it’s purest form. Solos are sporadic but well placed, never coming off as obnoxious or unnecessary but instead reinforcing the capable songwriting abilities of the band. Rogga is also the band’s vocalist. Transitioning between unintelligible barks and deep throaty roars with a few raspy shrieks thrown in for good measure, Rogga provides more then enough intensity to level an entire town. Lyrically, Satanic themes run amok in death metal, but Revolting opt for an 80’s horror film element instead. A nice change of pace albeit a campy one at that.
There’s a madman on the drum kit and his name is Mutated Martin. Bad moniker aside, his blast beat/double bas skills are proficient in whipping up a nice audio hailstorm. Speed, speed, speed, some slowed down parts followed by some more speedy patterns. What’s not to love, this is pure ***ing death metal. Complementing the drums and guitars is a sufficient bass tone provided by Grotesque Tobias. Name sounds like the once permanent Hawk Animorph having a bad day. Nevertheless, his playing doesn’t completely overshadow the rest of the instruments or get swallowed up by heavy distortion. All in all, a competently executed death metal record oozing in charm.
2009 has been a banner “Christmas came early” kind of year for death metal, we’ve been given solid releases from Asphyx, Suffocation, Ulcerate, Pestilence, Embrace Of Thorns, Funebrarum, Portal, Axis Powers and now the debut from Revolted. I highly recommend Dreadful Pleasures to anyone who loves their metal groovy and punishing.