What would be a more appropriate timing than getting some words jotted down on virtual paper about the new ENTOMBED release from Threeman Records than now? I’m waiting for my flight back to Denmark here at Arlanda Airport outside Stockholm after two days in the beautiful and right now sunny capital of Sweden. I’m wondering how grim and brutal music can come out of a place like this, but, hey, stranger things have happened.
The year was 1991, a truckload of amazing albums were released and the young me sucked in just about anything metal that he could get his hands on. The list of bands who released fantastic pieces of music that year included Bolt-Thrower, Cathedral, Atheist, Bathory, Death, Armored Saint, Fear of God, Gamma Ray, Dark Angel, Heathen, Infectious Grooves, Metal Church, Metallica, Morbid Angel, Overkill, Ozzy, Paradise Lost, Prong, Savatage, Sepultura, Suffocation, Type O, Voivod and last, but certainly not least, Entombed.
Entombed’s first outing, Left Hand Path, had offered a new take on death metal when it was unleashed in 1990. The characteristic buzzsaw guitar sound was born and would inspire numerous bands out there (Dismember being the most famous of these – since Entombed drummer played the guitars on their debut from 1991, Like An Ever-Flowing Stream, I suppose it wasn’t a pure coincidence that they struck the same chord). No wonder producer Tomas Skogsberg became the man of the day at the time – something special was definitely created.
The sophomore album, Clandestine, for me stands out as one of the best metal albums to come out of Sweden ever (which is no small feat when you talk about a country with bands like Candlemass, Bathory, In Flames, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy and many, many more). The song ‘Stranger Aeons’ remains one of my all-time favourite songs.
The irony, you could say, is that this, their best album, is the one Entombed album LG Petrov didn’t contribute to. On the album, Carnage singer Johnny Dordevic is credited as the vocalist, but it was in fact drummer Nicke Andersson who did the vocal duties. And a great job he did. I always preferred his vocal style to LG’s, but don’t tell LG, because he’s also doing a fab job and he’s one of the coolest blokes in metal.
The recording that’ll come out on Nuclear Blast in three weeks’ time is a live recording from 2016 that was made as a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the album. Why it comes so late, I don’t know. Things are apparently still a mess between Alex Hellid and Petrov who’ve been in a legal battle over the Entombed name for ages now. Which seems a bit ridiculous.
Petrov is recording and touring with Entombed A.D., whereas this live recording was made by Nicke, Alex, Uffe Cederlund, Nicke’s half-brother, Edvin Aftonfalck on the bass and his former Morbus Chron band mate Robert Andersson on vocals.
This is supposedly the first time the album has been played in full live, and it’s interesting to hear how it aged in the live setting. I’ve seen Entombed live a few times now, and I’ve always loved the energy of LG in particular, but impressed by their musical skills I’ve never been. The Clandestine songs I’ve heard live never quite had the same crunch and power live as they have on the studio recording and neither Hellid nor Cederlund are flawless players. This live album basically confirms this.
Additionally, the sound quality of the recording isn’t super clear from the outset, which to me is surprising. This was recorded in a theatre, and one should think with the best possible conditions for an amazing sound and mix. It isn’t.
Bottomline is that this recording is relevant for the nostalgics and the collectors among us, and not so much those who are looking for great live albums to expand their horizon. If you missed Clandestine for some odd reason, I’d advise you to order the original studio album from your nearest webstore as soon as possible because it’s still a blinding album.
1. Living Dead
2. Sinners Bleed
4. Blessed Be
5. Stranger Aeons
6. Chaos Breed
8. Severe Burns
9. Through the Collonades
10. Left Hand Path
Playing Time: 55 minutes
Alex Hellid - guitar
Uffe Cederlund - guitar
Nicke Andersson - drums
Edvin Aftonfalck - bass
Robert Andersson - vocals