Released: May 15, 2013
Swedish metal outfit Deathening have created a solid mix of death metal: blending melodic and thrash elements into an album that pays respect to the infamous Gothenburg Sound. Singer: Kalle Nimhagen lays absolute waist, with a vocal thrashing executed in a manner reminiscent of At The Gates and other early melodeath pioneers (or incarnate dragons for that matter). Intricate rhythms blaze, and melodic chords rip—eventually, a growing, more aggressive thrash takes hold with each passing track—as the album moves away from its earlier, melodic death metal compositions to the more speedy, thrash/death metal sound encompassing its later half. The album’s first two tracks (two of its strongest): “Self Impaled” and “Slave To The Kill” unleash an all-out melodeath assault—the latter featuring a grooving lead that carves a hypnotic path for some of the most chilling death vocals to be heard on Chained in Blood.
Repetition becomes a major problem as the album reaches its later half—more aggressive death metal songs like “Prepare To Die” and “Lights Out” seem to blend together: “brutal” and sure to please fans of the more raw & pure death metal sound, but far eclipsed in skill by the album’s earlier, more melody driven numbers. With band members from Gothenburg, Deathening’s artistic inspirations are quite easy to ascertain: Chained in Blood is packed full of guitar solos that would have fit very well on In Flames’ (the right influence for a death metal band to have) 2000 album Clayman—all stylistically fingered with precision, dazzling, and in similar (or the same) tuning—where repetition becomes an issue once more, but sonically aesthetic solos are hardly something to complain about, and in today’s metal scene; a good problem to have. @MattCrane