Label: Xtreem Music
Release Date: 20/08/2019
In a recent conversation with our Editor Supreme, I pointed out that maybe I am more excited about Swedish death than I would have been had I not gotten into death metal in the last year and a half or so. To me, the combination of d-beats, the buzzsaw tones of abused HM-2 pedals and ingelligible death growls is almost magical. Among the bands whose talents I’ve sampled, Sorcery has been a recent favourite of mine with their phenomenal 2016 outing, Garden of Bones. Now, they are back with a new barrage of Swedeath. The question we have is, does Necessary Excess of Violence stand up to the band’s impressive (if short) back catalogue?
The answer is: yes. In two words: hell yes. In three words: oh, hell yes. In four words: you get the picture.
Brass tacks: Sorcery plays Swedeath. This means thick, crispy buzzsaw guitars; d-beats, double bass surges and lots of cymbals; heavy riffage that slams, grooves, menaces and devastates; intelligible, throaty growl-shouts that serve as vocals spewing tales of violence, war and… love? It’s more likely than you think! This bundle is tied together with typical, guitar-centric sound (more on that later) at a very generous 45 minutes, which is the borderline for these albums.
Now, one thing I am going to say here is that if you want innovation or something progressive, this is not the album for you. Necessary Excess of Violence does not offer anything new or revolutionary. It does not feature off-kilter experiments, nor is it mind-fuckingly awesome start to finish. That is hardly a gripe, though, because the album that doesn’t have any bad songs, just those that aren’t as good as some others. The bar is set pretty high by adrenaline-laden tracks such as I’ll Be Gone or Death is Near, but to the band’s credit, even songs that sort of strike you less, like Of Blood and Ash or Year of the Plague have their perks.
At its most basic, the album has guts (lots of them,) glory, attitude, good songwriting and skilled musicianship… as well as a dedication to ugly death and very high entertainment value. Seriously, from the hefty opener The Stellar Circle to the war anthem closer Language of the Conqueror, it’s dark, violent fun.
The thing is, there are some deviations from the formula that work pretty well. Where We Were Born We Will Demise, for instance, is home to a very nice irrhythmic drum beat that rears its dissonant head to great effect. King of Nothing teases a bit of death doom (a la Asphyx) at times. Plus, there is The Darkest Part of You which is kinda sorta a love song… a Swedeath lovesong. Let that sink in.
The production on Necessary Excess of Violence, unfortunately, is not as good as it was on Garden of Bones (which rectified drums being a bit too buried in their 2013 effort, Arrival at Six), mainly because there is way too much emphasis on the guitars and vocals. Look, I get it, it’s all about the guitars, but a bit more of a balance in sound could have made this album far less taxing on the ears and could have added greatly to its atmosphere. It’s not bad, by any stretch, it is certainly less brickwalled than some and really, if it’s Swedeath you be wantin’, you best be ready for the abuse.
So in conclusion, should you give Necessary Excess of Violence a chance? Yes. If you’re a death metal fan, dig Swedeath, or just getting into this stuff, this is a very good place for you to be. It’s a fun, wild ride that keeps you hooked to the very end. Highly recommended.
Paul Johansson – Guitars (nope, no Rogga here!)
Ola Malmström – Vocals
John Falk – bass
Johan Wickholm – Lead guitars
Tommy Holmer – drums
01. The Stellar Circle.
02. Where We Are Born We Will Demise
03. The Darkest Part of You
04. Of Blood and Ash
05. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
06. Death is Near
08. King of Nothing
09. Year of the Plague
10. Language of the Conqueror