Yet another band by Rogga Johansson, I was all prepared for another round of old school Swedish death metal onslaught with Putrevore‘s sophomore full length release, Macabre Kingdom, considering the stylistics that Rogga’s other bands such as Revolting, Humanity Delete and Megascavenger have displayed over the last year, with each providing some slight variation of the Swedish death metal style.
So I have to admit, when Putrevore threw the first tracks of Macabre Kingdom at me, I was pleasantly surprised indeed, with the band instead choosing a sound that leans more towards their Finnish counterparts rather than the usual Swedish sound that Rogga has come to be known for. The instrumentations on Macabre Kingdom are crushing as fuck, complemented by an equally suffocating atmosphere. The Incantation-inspired style of death metal that the band presents right from the start with The Mysteries of the Worm Part I immediately brings about comparisons to bands such as Rottrevore. Rogga’s heavy usage of trem-picked segments throughout the album also ensures that fans of Incantation and Dead Congregation are hooked quickly from the start. The Finnish comparison is all the more so with the throaty vocals of Dave Rotten, not unlike the disturbing style of Demilich.
The entire release is a slab of chaos, from the frantic riffs of Rogga and the thundering vocals of Dave, to the drumming of Brynjar, and the savageness that is contained on the album at times reminds one of bands such as Abhorrence and Archgoat and their blackened, blasphemous onslaught. The blackened and somewhat experimental moments in the usage of haunting lead guitars also send chills down the listener’s back, and moments such as towards the end of Universal Devourer some slight similarities to bands like Portal and the less-weird Impetuous Ritual could be spotted.
At the same time, there is still that slight Swedish sound that Rogga brings in, and this especially so with the haunting melodies that are presented through the lead guitars, such as on the beginning of Beyond Human Comprehension, but that’s as far as it goes in terms of Swedish death metal influences.
To top off the already abrasive and crushing listening experience, the production on Macabre Kingdom is raw as fuck, with the guitars feeling like a cheese grater on the listener’s ears. The high mix of the drums on the album also enables it to really punish the listener mercilessly, leaving the listener buried under a wall of noise as each of the instruments fight to grab the attention of the listener.
With Macabre Kingdom, Putrevore has displayed their high level of knowledge in the old school (all the more so with Dave Rotten being the man behind Xtreem Music) and musicianship. Death metal releases that boast crushing heaviness are extremely common these days, but few boast the intensity that Putrevore has managed to put out, leaving one craving for more as soon as the album ends.