LIK – Carnage

The glorious buzzsaw guitars that rip forth in the opening riff of album opener, “To Kill,” immediately bring to mind all of those sentimental, warm and fuzzy feelings you had jamming to DISMEMBER and ENTOMBED back in the day.  And it’s no coincidence that LIK (“corpse” in Swedish) are from Stockholm, Sweden.

On their second album, Carnage, LIK easily establish themselves as a true force to be reckoned with.  Like the instant classic that it is, the ten songs are consistently infectious and memorable.  Each successive listen will make you realize that this is one of the best death metal albums to come out in years.

The best part of Carnage is the instantaneous enjoyment that it brings.  It’s not a rehash or a ripoff of the legends but simultaneously a great homage and continuation of the Stockholm Swedish death metal legacy.

It should noted that the production, courtesy of Lawrence Mackrory (DARKANE, F.K.Ü) at Dugout Studios, is a thing of beauty.  The Boss Metal Zone guitar/bass tons are thick and ripping while the drums are natural and powerful in the mix.  Everything literally sounds loud (in a good way) without being abrasive.

While extreme metal vocalists can often blur into each other, Tomas Åkvik (vocals, guitar) has the deep roar but also the clear enunciation that David Vincent is famous for.

I know upon first listen, you may think LIK is merely a DISMEMBER-worship band but with successive listens, you’ll find that there is more that distinguishes them from their main influence.  (Metal Blade Records)

 

 

Underground Gems: DARKANE’s Rusted Angel

With the recent great news about original vocalist Lawrence Mackrory returning to DARKANE, it instantly triggered fond memories of the band’s excellent debut album, Rusted Angel.

Originally released in 1999 by Swedish label, War Music/Wrong Again Records (now known as Regain Records), DARKANE made their debut at a time when the Swedish scene (post-Stockholm scene) was starting to make big waves in the underground.

Unlike their countrymen in Gothenburg, DARKANE‘s bread and butter wasn’t centered around melody per se. Rusted Angel was a fresh new sound combining vicious thrash (i.e. latter day TESTAMENT) and death metal with a very impressive technical flare. There was just a special energy and power to it. Songwise, Rusted Angel is a solid album. No bad eggs in the bunch.

Guitarists Christofer Malmström and Klas Ideberg riffing style was so unique for the time and still is. There were lots of riffing variations with plenty of intensity and flavor. Their guitar solos were great too. They have chops and weren’t afraid to show it.

Peter Wildoer‘s drumming is absolutely excellent. His style is so musical and dynamic. Wildoer adds endless ear candy with his tasty fills and unique style. The Amott brothers should’ve never let him leave ARCH ENEMY.

Vocalist Lawrence Mackrory was unique as well. He didn’t emulate the higher death metal vocals of his Swedish peers. Instead, his vocals were more abrasive, raw, and varied. He even had a semi-clean vocal style that he used kind of like TESTAMENT‘s Chucky Billy.

Outside of nostalgia value, Rusted Angel is an underground classic and holds up extremely well against today’s releases. Mandatory music.

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DARKANE’s Original Line Up Reunites with Return of Lawrence Mackrory

Sweden’s DARKANE have announced that vocalist Jens Broman has left the band and that original vocalist Lawrence Mackrory has rejoined the band.

Here is Jens Broman‘s statement to fans:

“I will leave DARKANE. This has to do with personal issues. At the moment my life is in a phase where I’m unable to find inspiration for new adventures with DARKANE and therefore it’s best for me to pass on the mic. I will miss you all, the tours, all you dedicated fans and most of all my band mates. But know that DARKANE have found a superb replacement in Lawrence Mackrory.

“Good luck and stay metal!”

Lawrence Mackrory had the following message:

“It is with great pleasure I can finally announce my return to DARKANE. I have been waiting for this opportunity to appear and finally the time was right for me to continue what we started 13 years ago. Both Andreas and Jens have done a tremendous job with the band, which will keep me on my toes while performing live for sure.

“The first time I met Peter, Christofer, Klas and Jörgen was when they arrived at the studio in my hometown in Uppsala to record the debut album Rusted Angel. We had only spoken on the phone before and yet there I was, ready to record an album with them. After my departure we remained good friends but didn’t really see much of each other since we lived in different parts of the country.

“Now, the chemistry between the five of us is more vibrant than ever and I can’t wait to go on tour and perform songs from all five albums. The new DARKANE album is already in the works and I can guarantee that all fans, both old and new, will enjoy this record. So far the demos sound awesome, let’s just leave it at that. I’m looking forward to finally meeting all DARKANE-fans on the road.

“See you real soon!”

Check out the first rehearsal footage of the band with Lawrence Mackrory:

SCARVE: Thrashing Young Lads

France generally isn’t the first, second, third, or fourth European country you think of when you think of “metal,” but France’s SCARVE is putting their stamp on the metal world one album at a time. 2004’s impressive Irradiant piqued ears and garnered comparisons to MESHUGGAH and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. That year also saw drummer, Dirk Verbeuren, join Sweden’s SOILWORK. Despite seemingly unending singer woes, SCARVE dropped their latest, The Undercurrent, to an unsuspecting public. The Undercurrent is a dynamic album of gobsmacking technical metallic goodness. APESHIT pinned down the ever-busy Dirk to tell us more about France’s latest stars on the up and up.

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