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Deathening - Antifascist Death Metal Award winner

Antifascist Death Metal
by Kayla Hutton at 16 October 2018, 11:42 PM

October 5th 2018 Gothenburg's DEATHENING celebrated their fifth release(third full length) "Antifascist Death Metal", on vinyl and digital available via Rakamarow Records (owned by Pal Callmer) and Accelerator Records. Founded in 2007 DEATHENING is a death metal band, although, from Sweden and displaying some of that trademarked influential sound, I would say 70% of the music has its own sound. A fair combination of unique playing style, 90’s death metal as a whole, and then the Swedish influence. They may also fool you into believing they have multiple vocalists. Not the case. It's all 1 guy. With a range that covers screeching highs to guttural lows and that dwell in between. I love a band who wants more than the redundant, "blood, gore, fck this, fck that,medical terminology and satanic verses." DEATHENING has an actual purpose. "We have a clear agenda to fight fascism, racism and homophobia" (read in an interview). So since DEATHENING take on the things that instill hate and make people hate each other,are they less brutal? If anything I think it makes it more harsh and brutal A.F. Simply because it's real. It's the burning hatred in the soul and heart of someone who likely sits next to you. It's people carrying out extreme acts of aggression on their fellow man. To see it, depict it, and use music to stand against it? Bravo Guys. This is empowering. Get up and do something music.

"Obscure" has an elevating power intro that has all in sync for some rhythmic stabs. The main riff takes some time to start, and when it does the guitar alone with its palm mutes and power chords leads one to believe a moshpit anthem lay ahead. Shocking as the tempo the drums add are much slower. This of course made the song more dirty, sludgy, and thick. The drums are most impressive on this track due to their unpredictable directions. Showing some diversity and taking away the simplistic and safe familiarity. The leads from the guitar are melodic and actually very gripping as it soars into the mid to high pitches. "Evil" sounds a little like ASPHYX as it draws the curtains. De-Tuned, long strums of doom before picking up the pace into a speed metal-ish style accompanied by LAMB OF GOD/AT THE GATES vocals. While the rhythm may only rotate through a couple of notes, it's how tight these guys are that makes the easy nature of the riff stronger. As the melodic lead kicks in and finds its place as the storyteller it brings a whirlwind of strength, overcoming an adversary, and perseverance. Powerful and dark.

"Toxic Narcissist" really reflects the vocal range. Fluctuating high and low and gives the feeling of the trade-off style shared between 2 singers. It is a little thrilling to say, nope, that is all the same guy. The Swedish metal sound is most dominant in this track and reminded me of GRAVE, DISMEMBER, until the middle break. A distorted plucked guitar line that usually would be played in a clean tone. Again, unpredictable. The leads are darkly melodic and actually, have an impact. Played and placed brilliantly. Not flashy, not a million notes crammed together, a true soundscape and ambiance is applied. The downside to “Antifascist Death Metal” is each track does sound pretty similar. By the end of it, I felt exhausted. As if I listened to a 45 song. Overall, the message they deliver is socially conscious and something we all could be moved from. The drums are skilled and impressive and the leads are so fitting. Overall these guys are very tight and know what they want and how to do it.  On a side down the video for “Zombie Mass” delivers a message that really puts into perspective the world around us and is more than worth your time.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Absurdum
2. Zombie Mass
3. Räkneexempel
4. Evil
5. Unholy Intercourse
6. No Pasaran
7. Dehumanization
8. Spineless Cowards
9. Obscure
10. Can Of Worms
11. Toxic Narcissist
Kalle Nimhagen - Vocals
Arnold Lindberg - Drums
Pål Callmer - Guitars
Niklas Fridh - Guitars
Pär Hallgren - Bass
Record Label: Rakamarow Records


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Edited 09 August 2020

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