Monday, July 16, 2012

Entombed - Clandestine

I have to admit that I was a bit leery of this album before actually hearing it as the guy who did the vocals for the 'Crawl' ep had some of the most haggard biker whore sounding vocals I've ever had the misfortune of hearing. I figured if Entombed was delusional enough to replace the godly L.G. Petrov with this whiny bitch than they have surely lost the sense and ability to write a great album as well. As it turned out I was wrong... for the most part, that is.

Musically speaking, 'Clandestine' is a fucking monument of colossal proportions. The production on this album is absolutely ridiculous and to this day makes 90% of the stuff out there sound pitiful and generic. Skogsberg has never sounded better and has, for the most part, never been able to top the ferocious perfection of this album.

The biggest difference between this and 'Left Hand Path' is that the songs are a bit more epic in nature, not to mention a tad bit more on the catchier side. One could argue that Entombed had begun to shed a wee bit of light on some of the gloom that permeated their debut. You could rightfully say that Entombed was starting to sound like a somewhat "professional" band with this album.

Nicke Andersson is one of my favorite drummers of all time and his work on this album is the main reason why. There might not be much blasting on here, but that's a-o-fucking-k in my book. I like to hear inventive fills and drum rolls and creative beats rather than mindless and persistent thumping. That shit doesn't do much for me. On 'Clandestine', Nicke is a fucking beast that can do no wrong. Easily an award winning performance from the Man of many talents.

Which leads to to the vocals. Ahhh.... the one and near fatal flaw to an otherwise outstanding album. The vocals (provided by Nicke as well as guitarist Uffe Cederlund) are of the silly gay pirate variety. Picture a rampantly homosexual Cap'n Hook, angry and with sweaty balls on the brain, running amok and you pretty much have an idea of what's going on here. Being that pretty much all of Scandinavia has had a long running obsession with Autopsy, it's not particularly shocking that Entombed would go this route, after all, Chris Reifer is the KING of all gay pirates. His command of the gay pirate battleship is unwavering and so try as they may, the wee lads of Entombed could only feebly emulate their idol in a manner less than convincing, much to my relief. Therefore, what could've ended in catastrophe wound up being salvageable after all.

Entombed would release an ep of re-recorded chestnuts ('Stranger Aeons', which was actually just a couple of extra songs that were recorded during the 'Clandestine' sessions) before turning their back on death metal altogether. Throughout the years I've read reviews of certain albums they released where the reviewer claims that the band has finally returned to that cherished sound of old. Bullshit. Not once, not ever have Entombed revisited the style of their younger years. Not one single album since the release of the 'Stranger Aeons' ep  has come even remotely close to the 'Clandestine' or 'Left Hand Path'. Believe what you will, but tread carefully as you have been warned.

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