Gluttony – Beyond the Veil of Flesh (Vic Records)

Thursday, 5th June 2014
Rating: 8/10

With the heap of bands trying to party like it’s 1992 Stockholm, how does a band revel in the glories of the past, while forging a path that’s all your own?  Well, in the case of Gluttony (and many others), you forgo the whole ‘individual identity’ thing and just play the best damn version of Swedish death metal that you can.  In many cases, it’s simply not enough, but for Gluttony, it is just what the (zombie) doctor ordered.

Once you remove the notion of having to find something original or inventive in Beyond the Veil of Flesh, prepare yourself for one of the most vicious and thoroughly entertaining romps through retrograde Sweden in recent memory.  The riffing is downright outstanding, with no track offering any form of safety from the slaughter.  The title track, “Post Mortem Decapitation,” and “And Then You’ll Rot” will practically tear out your throat with their menace.  Even more groove-based tracks, such as the standout “Eaten Alive,” have that buzzsaw grit down pat so well that it will still attempt to eviscerate you at half speed.  “Eaten Alive” might have some of the tastiest (pun intended) rolling grooves since Bloodbath’s similarly titled “Eaten.”  Dan Swano’s mastering/mixing retains a certain clarity that many bands lack in their attempt to sound as raw and ‘90s as possible, yet there is enough dirt here to insure you know what you’re listening to and give you a macabre smile from ear to ear.

Sometimes the simplest approach is the best when it’s both passionate and honest.  Completely unrelenting and chock-full of massive grooves and energy, this is much more than “another throwback band.”  As someone who has grown increasingly exhausted with the vanilla, paint-by-numbers Swedish retro scene, Beyond the Veil of Flesh comes across as a surprising winner and fresh breath of (recycled) air.  No questions asked, this will make you want to party like it’s 1992.  Embrace it and join in the fun!

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