[7.5/10] The Swedish death metal pool is highly diluted at the moment – everyone knows that. Because of the 2011-2012 push of retro-inclined bands with little more than Left Hand Path and Like An Everflowing Stream on their minds, it has made the sound far less imposing than it once was. And since the bar is so low for bands of this ilk, it makes a band who gives a crap (i.e. Revolting) all the more appealing.
Hymns of Ghastly Horror is the band’s fourth full-length, combining the visceral elements of the aforementioned Dismember/Entombed combo, along with a noticeable Unorthodox-era Edge of Sanity influence to boot. Not because we’re such backers of all things EOS-related (the band’s Purgatory Afterglow/Crimson is the bee’s knees), but it’s refreshing to hear the sort of pseudo melodic twists injected into the Swedish death metal sound. Revolting does this throughout the nine songs on Hymns, some of which have plenty of bang in the melodic department, especially “Their Thoughts Can Kill” and the excellent “Prey to Katahdin.”
Predictably, production is rough and raw, with drums that sound like jackhammers while singer/bassist Revolting Rogga (also of Paganizer, Ribspreader and about 800 other bands) does his best gurgle-and-go. Nevertheless, the sadistic pull of “The Mother of Darkness” is an instant winner, as is “The Hatchet Murders,” a song that captures the devilish groove and crunch of early 90’s Stockholm death metal.
With the calendar year rapidly drawing to a close, it’s a toss-up as to who has won the retro death metal race for 2012. Bearing in mind that the entrants are virtually countless, we’d gladly vouch for Revolting, who on Hymns of Ghastly Horror, sound every bit as vicious, gory, and brutal as a proper Swedish death metal band should be. Plus, the album artwork is ultra-creepy.
Revolting on Facebook
Connect with Blistering: