Interment is a veteran band in the underground Swedish death metal scene, with releases dating as far back as 1991, when Swedish death metal first made its way into public consciousness. Through the years, they’ve released a variety of demos and splits, revered by more knowledgable deathers who keep an ear on the underground. They have just released their best material to date: the ferocious, well-conceived, well-executed full length album entitled Scent of the Buried, for Pulverised Records and Dark Descent Records.
It’s no coincidence that two of the best labels that release underground death metal are working together to put this in your hands, as Scent of the Buried is by far superior to most of the material Interment has released in its career. In spite of this new release being only the band’s second full-length album, the members of Interment are scene veterans that have moonlighted in several other bands such as Entombed AD, Moondark, and Uncanny.
The tracklisting numbers a healthy ten tracks of blood-drenched buzzsaw terror. The tracks average about four minutes each, and there’s not a single track here that shows the complacency of a band running out of good ideas. For a veteran band, Interment sounds as hungry as most bands do when starting out, and it is this passion and energy that makes Scent of the Buried a must-have for the die-hard Swedeath fan.
Sing-along choruses also make the songs catchy as hell. The riffs are varied and sound a little trickier to pull off than the riffs found in earlier Interment releases. Interment wastes no precious time middling with sub-par material on here. Although the song structures might sound similar when the choruses are compared with one another, the vibrancy and intensity of the playing is readily felt. Interment does slow down in brief instances and allows double-kick drums to come in and pace the slower sections, but it’s never overdone. The band launch into thrash tempo, blastbeat, then back again, allowing the shreds and downpicks to take full advantage of the killer buzzsaw sound.
It isn’t obvious that the album is front-loaded, although most of the first tracks are better than the latter ones. The first few tracks in particular slay with songwriting proficiency just a notch above that of the album’s latter half, with catchier riffs and more memorable sections interspersed in the song structure. When Interment hovers at mid-tempo, such as on track seven, Dawn of Blasphemy, they sound like mid-nineties Casket Garden era Dismember, with simple but heavy riffs that play snake charmer until you bang your head along.
The shortest track on here, with a runtime of two minutes thirty-five seconds, is track nine, “Skull Crushing Carnage.” A juggernaut, the track deceives the listener into thinking that the runtime could signal the arrival of filler material, but such isn’t the case. The track never lets up. Intense from start to finish, it is an effective moshpit mover that couldn’t have come at a better time.
Swedeath is nothing new and the nineties will always be remembered for sterling death metal via Stockholm, but this release shows the timeless appeal Swedish death metal still retains, and many bands may plug in the Boss HM-2 and start thinking that a few chord transitions will result in the next big thing, but that notion couldn’t be farther from the truth. Scent of the Buried is the first Swedeath album of 2016 I will acclaim.
While not as sublimely melodic as Like An Ever Flowing Stream – although it is worth noting that Interment vocalist Johan Janson sounds like Matti Karkl – Interment, as a whole, wins hands-down on intensity. Scent of the Buried may not be classic material, nor will it win Interment the favor of being mentioned as one of Swedeath’s best purveyors, but this side of Interment is easily more enjoyable than some of their releases that lack the urge to go full-throttle. Underground fans who liked Under the Church’s recent material will like Scent of the Buried as well. Both bands do feature a more brutal side, so expect an album that easily gets you going. The choruses, as mentioned, are memorable and are fun to scream along to. While progenitors like Dismember and Entombed have been fading fast in these latter parts of their careers, Interment seems to have found its mean streak. If Interment is content to ride off into the sunset now that this album has been released, they would have done themselves great benefit in releasing the jugular at a stage when few fans see it coming.