Sicktus : What do you get when Jonny Pettersson (Ursinne, Wombbath, guitars/bass and main composer), Ralf Hauber (Revel In Flesh, vocals) and Erik Bevenrud (drums) join forces? Well, the answer is simple: you get a high quality, filthy, kick ass death metal release, that steers between an oldschool thrashy death attack that really packs a vigorous punch and slower, yet more heavy hitting, doomladen songs (such as the utterly crushing track ‘Deep Below’), with some madness thrown in for good measure, giving some parts of the nine original songs an almost blackened, bordering on warmetal kind of death feel. For me, the album peaks with the epic ‘The Awakening’, which blends together all the elements in one heavy-as-fuck stampeding beast from the deep that is just out to crush puny human skulls. Dark, evil, primal, crushing, dangerous: death metal the way it was meant to be.
Oh, also noteworthy stuff: the threepiece cap of their 36 minute beast with an apt Wolfbrigade cover, ‘In Darkness I Feel No Regrets’, the production (by Jonny Pettersson) gives the album a decisive filthy, gritty and raw sound and Matt Moliti (Sentient Horror) and Håkan Stuvemark (Wombbath) also appear on ‘Serpent’s Curse’ providing Heads For The Dead with some guest guitar solo work – as if this line-up wasn’t insane enough yet.
All in all, ‘Serpent’s Curse’ is another pure OSDM hit and a truly great addition to the stable of Transcending Obscurity Records, who keep on really making a name for themselves as the place to go for quality death (and for doom and death/doom as well). My hat off to you, sirs! Vinyl lovers: be on the lookout for the LP boxset, which features the album in red/black splatter and some beer related goodies.