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The Embodied - Ravengod

The Embodied
by Paul Carr at 08 September 2016, 8:27 AM

It’s been quite a gap between albums from Sweden’s The Embodied. A whole five years after their eponymous debut, the band return with more of the same mixture of Thrash, Death and just plain old Heavy Metal. Their influences are obvious once the staccato riff of “The Bleed” starts things off. It’s a classic Metal riff - part JUDAS PRIEST, part PANTER. It’s a wrecking ball of an opener that highlights the band’s strengths. The twin guitar attack of Melin and Mortensen give the song real power and depth as they thread their riffs together. Second song “Vengeance” adds some subterranean death metal riffing. Lead singer Thorell is really able to show what he is capable of. He has the ability to switch between clean and screamo at ease, in a way that suits the song. The influence of Melodic Death Metal on this song is interesting as it frames a genuinely catchy, sing-along chorus. There are other examples of a more melodic take on Death Metal throughout the album.

The band are very much painting from a varied palette. On occasions they take their cues from classic metal bands such as IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST. At others they offer some good old fashioned Thrash such as on the concise “I Suffocate of Anger”. “Battle of the Mind” wouldn’t sound out of place on a later day SLAYER album.  There are even occasions when they recall the dons of power metal, HELLOWEEN such as on the impassioned “Praetor Sorrow”. The centre piece of the album is clearly the epic “The Exorcist”. Here, the guitarists are able show off their full box of tricks, from the arpeggiated intro to the dark churn of death metal chords. The danger is that this could result in something of a metal mish-mash, being neither one thing nor the other. Thankfully, they manage to pull it off with aplomb. “Land of the Midnight Sun” slows things down with Thorell earnestly singing over acoustic guitars. It’s an interesting left turn for the band although it’s a very slight song that fails to pull off the emotional gravitas they were clearly hoping for. They are much better at piling ferocious riff on top of ferocious riff such as on standout track “Death By Fire”. There is some simply glorious guitar work on show here. Once again Melin and Mortensen sway between earth-shaking riff to fluid soloing with consummate ease.

Overall, this is a solid album. There is plenty to admire and, when it works, the mix of different genres of metal can be literally jaw dropping. However, there are a few underwhelming songs on here that don’t quite hit the mark. Some of the songs could be tightened a little with a few less ideas thrown in and some thrown out. It’s a classic example of a band who has been writing an album over a long time. Maybe, they shouldn’t wait quite so long next time.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Bleed
2. Vengeance
3. Praetor Sorrow
4. Ravengod
5. The Exorcist
6. Land of the Midnight Sun
7. Awaiting the End
8. I Suffocate of Anger
9. Art of Hunting
10. Battle of The Mind
11. Death by Fire
12. Vallfaerd till Asgaard
Marcus Thorell - Vocals
Chris Melin - Guitars
Jon Mortensen - Guitars
Agust Ahlberg – Bass
Axel Janossy - Drums
Record Label: Pure Legend Records


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