Tomas Skogsberg, the producer of most of the early nineties Swedish death metal classics from Entombed and Dismember at Sunlight Studio, was interviewed by the Swedish Communist Party’s Proletaren news site a couple of years ago. Skogsberg of course speaks about his collectivist ideals and why he eventually became a card-carrying Communist. He mentions that the Boss HM-2 pedal is only good for chainsaw guitar death metal and is otherwise bullshit. In addition he talks of his love of The Beatles and unpristine, properly dirty productions, and how Sunlight only bought digital audio workstation software in 1995 that he still uses. This could explain why various Swedish bands have noted over the years that Skogsberg let Sunlight Studio fall into disrepair in the mid 90s. Overall, Skogsberg says he is proud of the “rattly and raspy” records he engineered over the course of his career with his favorite production have been Entombed‘s Wolverine Blues, death ‘n’ roll sellout from 1993.10 Comments
Article by David Rosales.
We tend to be skeptical when receiving a promo of a retro Swedeath band given the history of the style, but we can’t help but feel a vague and healthy excitement for the raw feeling this improved grindy sound can offer when done well. Despite the long history of shams, Dismember and Entombed followers receive an enthusiastic and welcoming reception here every time. This is also, perhaps, the reason why they also get beaten down with the most derisive of tones when found ‘guilty’.
Interment‘s Scent of the Buried is one of the best cases of the usually-unfortunate retro Swedeath we have seen in the last few years. While much praise is due, it is also interesting to try and understand when and how blatant such style appropriations fall short of the excellence of the originals. The band does a very good job at creating a flowing narrative in the style of Entombed, taking the best from the older band and approaching Dismember’s power chord and tremolo melodies in low tones while discarding the most overt poppisms of the first. After the first half of the album, the B-ness (the quality of being a B-grade album) of Interment’s release becomes obvious, after which it is easy to see that the band ran out of things to say.
While for some this has to do with style itself, and a superficial appreciation of music leads some to want stylistic variety, this is not what is meant here when pointing out the bands shortage of meaningful content. It has to do with a narrowness in the variety of patterns in melodies and riffs, not stylistic divergence itself. This is something that does not happen in the seminal works of Entombed and Dismember, whose style is natural-born from themselves, hence their whole effort is bent on trying to say something. In the case of stylistic followers and clones, which encompass the likes of Interment, there is a conscious will towards adhering to the stylistic conventions those older bands laid out.
This is much more confining and goes beyond genre style; these b-bands are not trying to reflect abstract ideas but the most superficial traits of the music. Hence, Scent of the Buried has enough excellent material for a 3-track EP, but not a full album. Despite the technical re-production of this vintage style being a success1, Interment doesn’t have much more to offer other than a passing pleasure for those who enjoy the hell out of the Swedeath sound.
1Scent of the Buried was actually recorded by Tomas Skogsberg at his legendary Sunlight Studio were most of the Swedish bands recorded back in the early nineties. – Editor2 Comments