Earlier this week I reviewed a great new album by Blood Mortized that’s in the vein of old school Swedish death metal, which happens to be one of my favorite metal sub-genres. One of our frequent commenters suggested that I consider compiling a list of my favorite “regurgitated” Swedish death metal albums since 2000 — and by “regurgitated” I took him to mean albums released by bands who weren’t actually in existence back when that old school was being constructed by the likes of Carnage, Nihilist, Dismember, Entombed, Unleashed, and Grave (to name only some of the ground-breakers).
I’m not very good at making lists. I have a hard time ranking bands and albums and I’m always afraid I’m going to forget something. Also, trying to make a list of albums that have come out over the last 13 years seemed like an especially daunting task for my feeble mind. But I did decide to create the list you’re about to see. Though it’s quite long, I’m still afraid I’ve forgotten something, or simply never heard an album that deserves to be mentioned. So I’m encouraging readers to add their own favorites in the Comments if I left any of them out. But first, I want to be clear about the criteria I used — and I want to provide some caveats, too.
1. I limited the list to albums that were released from 2008-2013 (the last 5 years). Apart from the fact that this was easier, I think it’s also the period when we’ve seen the biggest resurgence in this style of metal among newly released albums and EPs.
2. I excluded bands who existed back in the late 80’s and early 90’s when this style of music was being born, even if they’re still around (e.g., Grave) and even if they broke up and then later re-formed (e.g., Evocation, Interment). On the other hand, I didn’t exclude newer bands just because their line-ups might include people who were involved in other bands during that era.
3. I tried to limit the list to bands whose sound is significantly influenced by that old school SWEDISH style, as exemplified by the bands mentioned above (though the listed bands are from all over the world).
And now for the caveats:
1. Despite the fact that this post is labeled “The Best Of”, I really didn’t try to compile a list of the best albums I heard. Instead, I’ve just listed albums (and EPs) that I’ve really enjoyed. If I had tried to shrink this list down to the Top 10 or even Top 20, I’m afraid I never would have finished it. So it would have been better to call the list “favorites” or maybe “recommended” albums. But that’s not as catchy as “Best Of”. So sue me for false advertising.
2. Also, as should be obvious, this list is just based on what I have personally heard. Some other releases undoubtedly belong on this list, but if I didn’t hear it, then it ain’t here.
3. I tended to focus on albums and EPs that have come out since we started this blog in late 2009, because I’ve paid closer attention since then, and I’ve actually written about most of what’s on here. But you’ll see that the list is also heavily weighted toward releases from just the last 2 or 3 years — and that’s because those were easier for me to remember (I don’t have some master list that I’ve been keeping over the last 5 years).
4. I limited myself to one release per band on the list, and I didn’t necessarily pick the best one from each band since 2008. I picked the ones that came to mind first.
5. I may have bent the rules a bit in making some of these picks. For example, although bands such as Acephalix, Bone Sickness, and Morbus Chron (for example) are clearly influenced by old school Swedish death metal, their music incorporates other influences as well. But by including bands such as those, you could argue that I should have included a lot of others (for example, I considered Bloodbath’s The Fathomless Mastery and Necrovation’s self-titled, but they’re not here because I didn’t think the Swedeath influence was sufficiently dominant). All I can say is that drawing lines is difficult around the edges, and if you think I’ve been inconsistent, you’re probably right.
Okay, enough with the preamble. Here’s my list, in alphabetical order, along with sample songs. Again, please use the Comments to argue with my picks or to add picks of your own.
Acephalix – Deathless Master (2012)
Bastard Priest – Ghouls of the Endless Night (2011)
Blood Mortized – The Demon, The Angel, The Disease (2013)
Bodyfarm – The Coming Scourge (2013)
Bombs of Hades – The Serpents Redemption (2012)
Bone Sickness – Alone in the Grave (2013)
Crypticus – Insieme Verso Terrore (2012)
Demonical – Death Infernal (2011)
Disinterred – Demo MMXIII (2013)
Entrails – The Tomb Awaits
Entrapment – The Obscurity Within… (2012)
Funebrarum – The Sleep of Morbid Dreams (2009)
Graveyard – The Altar of Sculpted Skulls (2011)
Humanity Delete – Never Ending Nightmares (2012)
Invidious – In Death (2011)
Just Before Dawn – Precis Innan Gryningen (2013)
Krypts – Unending Degradation (2013)
Maim – From the Womb To the Tomb (2009)
Malfeitor – Dum Morior Orior (2012)
Massive Assault – Slayer (2011)
Miasmal – Miasmal (2011)
Morbus Chron – Sleepers In the Rift (2011)
Mordbrand – Kolumbarium (2012)
Necrowretch – Putrid Death Sorcery (2013)
Paganizer – “World Lobotomy”
Puteraeon – The Esoteric Order (2011)
Putrevore – Macabre Kingdom (2012)
Revel In Flesh – Manifested Darkness (2013)
Skeletal Spectre – Voodoo Dawn (2013)
Stench of Decay – Visions Beyond Death (2011)
Tormented – Death Awaits (2013)
Torture Division – The Army of Three (2013)
Tribulation – The Formulas of Death (2013)
Undead Creep – The Ever-Burning Torch (2011)
Under the Church – Demo 2013 (2013)
Zombiefication – At the Caves of Eternal (2013)