Review Summary: Fuck your church, fuck your bible, fuck your god, fuck your lies
Swedish death metal was around before most of us were born and Swedish death metal will be around long after we all die and proceed to rot in a box. Our bloated corpses serving as nothing more than maggot fodder for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our bare bones devoid of the skin, hair, blood, organs, bile, winning smiles and charming livelihood that defined our brief existences. We are the nameless dead and I really hope that when I die I can haunt a popular church to convert folks to the sweet riffing power of Satan, or at the very least a well tread mountain pass that I can use to my advantage to chant "The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead. And the Dead keep it. The way is shut" to unsuspecting hippie travelers antsing for a good animal mauling. The point that I'm trying to make here is that Swedish death metal is eternal, but through all of it's buzzsawing glory so many excellent albums that contributed mightily to the strength and character of Swedish death metal fell unfavorably to obscurity. Today is the day that the crypt will be pried open once more in the godly names of Satan, Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep and Mel Gibson.
Hetsheads is a short lived Swedish death metal group that formed way back in 1988 and released one skull bashing album in 1994 called "We Hail The Possessed" before descending back into obscurity with a stupid name change and a cheesy stylistic shift. However, I'm not here to talk about "He Who Must Not Be Named", I'm here to talk about Hetsheads and how much m/ they brought to the table in the name of Satan. "We Hail The Possessed" is one of the gnarliest Swedish death metal records and it's not just because the lyrics own. Sure, vitriolic lyrics like "*** your church, *** your bible, *** your god, *** your lies" are pretty awesome but it's the sheer guttural barbarism taking place on the album that makes you take notice.
You are greeted with a brief synthesizer/acoustic guitar dominated introduction that makes you think you're about to listen to some kind of 12 piece Zelda influenced folk metal offering but then BOOM! the onslaught begins and there are no pan flutes to be found. A wall of distorted guitars and bellowing growls emerge from the horizon to slaughter your churches and burn your women. A punishing drum pattern and the famed Swedish buzzsaw tone rise like Nazi zombies from the ground of Normandy itching for a bloodbath. The album consistently delivers a steady rhythmic section that is punctuated by groovy down-tuned guitars, killer harmonies and blasting drums. Additionally, there is a dark foreboding undercurrent amidst the one dimensional brutality that trudges forward like a toxic mist preparing to take thousands of lives of the city it's encroaching. The minimalist melodic bent, light synth, tasteful use of soling and the general doomish down-tempo nature of the riffs give the music a dark atmosphere. The crude guitar scheme compliments the ferocious growls in the quest of killing the sun, God and all of his followers which in turn go hand in hand with the unapologetic anti-christian lyrical content displayed.
Drum work is fluid, well-produced and a force to be reckoned with on "We Hail the Possessed". While producing nothing groundbreaking to the genre, the drum performance is powerful and commanding, gelling perfectly with the vocals and guitars. The bass performance isn't as strong or personable as the drums but who gives a *** about bass in primal OSDM? I certainly don't so If you want to be a nancy about it then you can go *** yourself. The bass is a low point but in every other category "We Hail" The Possessed" scores high points. The sheer intensity of this album is what defines it but the I wouldn't revere the album as much if it was just mindless brutality. There is a strong sense of songwriting on the album that gives it character, variety and blackened charm without straying away from the Swedish death metal template. Basically, if you''re a a fan of true death metal then you need to add this to your collection asap. If you listen to Born of Osiris or Necrophagist then you can go ahead and jump off a bridge.