Lik – Carnage (Metal Blade)

Monday, 30th April 2018
Rating: 8/10

Two options exist when paying homage to classic, Stockholm death metal: Dismember or Entombed. (What, no Grave or Unleashed you ask?) Dismember and Entombed are the undisputable pillars of the sound, purveyors of the vaunted Boss HM-2 guitar tone; aka the buzz-saw tone that spawned millions of riffs and sub-genre spin-offs, from d-beat, to d-beat core, to d-beat hardcore and everything in between. So, here comes Lik, boasting some semi-familiar faces from Carnal Forge, Katatonia, Witchery, putting down a seething sophomore album in the form of Carnage.

Lik is more Dismember than Entombed, meaning, there’s more of a defined thrash influence racking about as well as Maiden-like harmonies. Thus, it’s with little hesitation the band launches into the melody-happy “Rid You of Your Flesh” like it was no big deal — Dismember did all the time anyway. (The same approach also benefits “Death Cult.”) And it’s really these spots and dabs of melody that round out the album, even as cuts like “To Kill” and “Celebration of the Twisted” provide the necessary auditory assault of grimy guitars and rollicking beats.

The ideas are here, channeled through the proper retro channels and executed with the appropriate slash and dashing (i.e. “Only Death is Left Alive”) to where Lik emerges as one of the better retro-mongers of late. And it’s not like there’s no shortage of these bands; there’s an inundation, rather, so best come out all guns blazing, which is exactly what happens on Carnage.

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