Wombbath – Choirs of the Fallen (Soulseller Records)Sunday, 8th March 2020
It takes all but about 3 seconds of the opening of “Fallen” for anyone not familiar with Wombbath to know entirely what you are getting into. That signature buzzsawing HM-2 crunch all but declares that one is in for an old school death metal engagement. Something that the remainder of the Swedish act’s fourth release never lets you forget.
The joy of “Fallen” is with just how fully the band dives into this sort of thing with aplomb. It rips and tears with energy, with savage riffs and growled vocals immediately letting you know that the band means business. As an introductory track, it passes with flying colors. As already stated, Wombbath isn’t afraid of going in full-tilt, and that level of invigoration continues throughout the album, with songs like “We Shall Remain” and “Void” doing their best to keep that energy flowing at the mid-tempo range or higher. But at near 50-minutes, it can’t just rage and rage alone. Death ‘n’ roll-esque grinders like “From the Beggars Hand” utilize a more melodic tempo, and occasionally shift gears into something more atmospheric. Combining this with the almost oppressive tone of the HM-2 buzzing make the slower sections of tracks have an almost churning quality to them. Couple this with some melodic leads and riffs, and the band has a lot to work with – even if it doesn’t take them too far away from the genre’s very comfortable waters.
For those who just can’t get enough old school Swedish death metal in their lives, Wombbath provide an entertaining release that comes straight from the motherland itself. The band’s early beginnings give them an added sense of legitimacy here, and Choirs of the Fallen handles both aggression and melody to a degree that the country’s forefathers would be proud of.