Originally written by Erik Thomas
It’s going to be hard to top 2010’s balls-deep array of awesome old school Swedish death metal from the likes of Entrails (my album of the year), Brutally Deceased, Interment, Nominon and Evocation, but tucked away in between those stellar releases was the debut from supergroup Crucifyre.
“What? Another Swedish death metal super group?” you say. And I say: Crucifyre certainly fits the bill — not only do they hail from Stockholm, the birthplace of the genre, but the band consists of members of Afflicted, Nasum, Crematory, Morbid and General Surgery. Is that credible enough for you?
However, Crucifyre isn’t quite another run-of-the-mill Sunlight-Studios-sound-toting band simply redoing old Entombed and Dismember riffs after scoring a Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal on eBay. The band’s tone is much more dirty, thrashy, grimy and demo-sounding than many of their current retro peers. The guitar tone has touch of that Stockholm buzz, but it isn’t overdone and feels authentically analog and raw. The riffs and overall sound is more like early Nihilist / Entombed demos and are more rooted in Autopsy-meets-early-Slayer-meets-Possessed tones rather than simply cloning that expected, pure-buzzsaw sound.
And the result is largely enjoyable, replete with old time-y samples and intro and a loose sloppy delivery — and even an unexpected female vocal injection for “Hellish Sacrifice” — but I’ll tell you right from the get-go, as much as I enjoy the music and the riffs, the vocals of Erik ‘Tormentor’ Sahlström (General Surgery) just don’t do it for me. Though channeling his inner Jeff Beccera (Possessed), his rough and ready thrash tone just turns me off. (“..Of Hell” being the main culprit.) But don’t let that deter you, as I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to this genre. I’m sure many will enjoy the overall feel of the album, as it’s commendably nostalgic, even possibly pre-dating Left Hand Path and such, especially with the much more tangible, stripped-down thrash backbone and ridiculous 80s themes and lyrics of tracks like “Kiss the Goat”, “Witch Hammer” and “Hail Satan” (which as a rollicking little solo).