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Firespawn - Abominate Award winner

by Chris Hawkins at 19 June 2019, 6:05 AM

A look at the lineup of FIRESPAWN is a glimpse of a who’s who of European Extreme Metal.  Of course, one L. G. Petrov of ENTOMBED, now ENTOMBED A. D. fame is the frontman, but the other members of the group have been a part of or played live with a slew of bands including:  NECROPHOBIC, NAGLFAR, UNLEASHED, DEFLESHED, DARK FUNERAL, SATYRICON, WITCHERY, and more.  The band formed in 2015 with the intention of creating true, brutal Death Metal and thus far have achieved that goal.  “Abominate” is the band’s third full-length and was released just a few days ago.

The Gallows End” is a fitting opener as it showcases the crippling sound of the band in a concise, less-than-three-minute package.  One can hear the storms gathering and the intensity yet to come is quite palpable.  “Death and Damnation” follows with a slower, groovy opening.  Soon after, though, when the verse hits, the pace becomes more rapid.  When that beginning riff is revisited for the brief chorus, it hits like an abrasive slap in the face.  The guitar solo toward the end is nothing but an exercise in face-melting fury, the art of shredding (where have we heard that before?).

The title track follows and the riff fest begins.  There is a pronounced MORBID ANGEL air with a vibe similar to “Where the Slime Live”.  It is certainly not a rip-off by any means, but it has that characteristically constant double bass with massive palm-muted riffs and well-placed pinch harmonics over the top.  This is truly unrelenting Death Metal worship played by some of the most qualified musicians in the scene.  Again, the solo is simply breathtaking as the entirety of the fretboard is shown love and bent to the player’s will for procreation of the wicked.

L. G.’s vocals must be looked at closer.  Always a leader of Death Metal singers with his commanding baritone, his style and technique has morphed much over the years.  For his performance on this album, though, it is as if he revisited his most brutal performances with the sole intention of making them exponentially more brutal.  It works – and then some!  His vocals on this album make old school David Vincent vocals sound deficient if not impotent.  I mention that name because that is clearly the vibe he is going for – a towering, left-handed master of ceremonies with powerfully-performed, well-articulated, intelligible vocals that perfectly set the music off.

The sixth track, “Cold Void,” is a short acoustic piece; however, it gives a further glimpse into one of the strongest features of this band, the prowess of the two guitarists.  Stripped of distortion, it is easily apparent how well-versed the two are in theory and technique.  Also, it provides a fitting introduction for “The Hunter,” perhaps the strongest track on the record.  The chorus is chocked full of some of the chunkiest guitar playing and provides a steady platform for L. G.’s sicker-than-sick vocals.  Though it could have appeared on an album twenty years ago, it shines through the super-tight, hi-fi production.

To sum things up, “Abominate” is a ravenous, rabid beast.  Its infectious riffs serve as a proper template of how to do Death Metal.  Ultimately, with L. G. behind the mic, this is certainly the most striking, satisfying, and inciting Death Metal album yet released this year.  Though there are a few other notable releases upcoming in the genre, it is doubtful who will be able to keep up with material so finely crafted as this.  To miss out on this album would be a detriment to your collection and your Heavy Metal psyche.  In short, this is an absolutely essential release, one of just a handful in such a category as the year is just now over halfway over.

Songwriting:  9
Originality:  8
Memorability:  9
Production:  9


4 Star Rating

1. The Gallows End
2. Death and Damnation
3. Abominate
4. Heathen Blood
5. The Great One
6. Cold Blood
7. The Hunter
8. Godlessness
9. Blind Kingdom
10. The Undertaker
11. Black Wings of the Apocalpyse
L. G. Petrov – Vocals
Victor Brandt – Guitars
Fredrik Folkare – Guitars
Matte Modin – Drums
Alex Friberg – Bass
Record Label: Century Media Records


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Edited 07 June 2023

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