Review Summary: A hard-hitting return from the old-skool death metal Swedes.The Great Desolation
is a Ronseal’s 5 Year Woodstain
kind of album: “It does exactly what it says on the tin.” From the opening milliseconds of “Embrace Death” you’re welcomed to a reliable prediction this is going to be a solid death metal album. Elevated by a dynamic and punchy production, the furious drums, grinding guitar tones and surprisingly prevalent pull from the bass on “Born of Filth” benefits greatly from it, and shows a surprising amount of textures in the process; like if you were to do an autopsy on the tentacled creature from the LP’s artwork, revealing a facet of intriguing organs. The guitar work on “Punisher of Broken Oaths” brings incandescence to the band’s amps as they pummel the listener's speakers with unapologetic speed and precision, while “The Weakest Flesh” serves up a trove of moods – be it the doom-y and melodic respite breathers, the tremolo picking attacks or the vivid guitar solo. Speaking of which, the solos on this record are fantastic and enhance the songs here. They are seldom used in the conventional sense, which is always a good thing in my eyes, but when they do kick into the likes of “Cold Steel Salvation” they feel cathartic and supportive of the album's core focus: atmosphere. To sum up, this is a damn fine album that sprints down a narrow road, delivering concise punishment in the shortest time frame possible, making sure its soundscape is richly descriptive and has you feeling you’re in the depths of Hell in the process – to which it succeeds in spades.
FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶ (The vinyl is limited to 300 copies.)
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A
ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://soulsellerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-desolation