YEAR RELEASED: 1995
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Fans of Scandanavian death metal, yeah. Otherwise, uh-huh.
LINEUP: Mikael Akerfeldt, Peter Lindren, Anders Nordin, Johan De Farfalla
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut record from Swedish metal band consists of five l-o-n-g tracks that meld metal and progressive rock, two instrumentals, and all the riffs and solos you’d want. But they also use the death growl vocal style most of the time, just to caution you.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s pretty stunning when a brand new band comes out of the gate with something as intricate and genre bending as this album. The two instrumentals show musicianship not normally heard on a death metal record (a piano solo and an acoustic guitar piece). The other songs also incorporate non-metal sounding interludes in between the bludgeoning riffs and death growl.
The chops and versatility are evident here, and even the use of the death growl vocal is something I can excuse because of the bands versatility. Akerfeldt and Lindgren’s guitar work is pretty stellar, especially moving between the riffs, metal solos and acoustic guitars. Nordin’s a pretty good drummer (and pianist as he did the piano solo track) that does the requisite double bass drum work and all the things a good thrashy metal drummer does.
All in all, a damn fine debut record for any metal or music fan. No, really!
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The lyrics? Akerfeldt basically has admitted most of them are ‘standard black metal nonsense’. “In the Mist She Was Standing” was based on a nightmare.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There’s a bonus track, an absolute horrible rehearsal recording that’s easily excused.
GRADE: A-: If you’ve never heard a death metal record, and wanted to test it out, grab this as one of the ones to hear first.