Some of us might be aware of the expression, “there are tribute bands and there are tribute bands.” What that means is that tribute bands attempt to remake some of the magic the originators of a sub-genre had created, but most tribute bands come up some ways short of evolutionary, staying with an established formula rather than adding elements that freshen the brew. Bands like Morbus Chron steer away from being tributary and engage listeners with a sound all their own. Skelethal are more of a tribute band. They attempt to do something that’s been done before, in the hopes of adding to the legacy of a sub-genre such as Swedeath, but they do such an excellent job on Deathmanicvs Revelation that fans of pioneering bands such as Entombed and Dismember must take heed.
The galloping punk riffs of The Left Hand Path are abundant, and so are the melodic segments of Like An Ever Flowing Stream. The band employs a little Stockholm beat on occasion, and one has to wonder about so many tribute bands really coming short of reclaiming the heritage of such landmark albums.
That’s because Deathmanicvs Revelation sounds like Skelethal really tried their darndest not merely to echo those two classic albums, but mix together the best elements of both in a way that is so effective, it sounds like the real thing all over again. Nevermind any band that plays the Boss HM-2 without paying attention to songwriting, Skelethal studied the blueprint and decided to stick to a formula without sounding mediocre.
The whole album is catchy, and certain riffs are headbang-inducing in ways that suggest NFL players are less susceptible to concussions than metalheads. There’s an intro that doesn’t overstay its welcome, and after that, its Sweden circa 1991 in its best moments. The next two songs have riffs that are gargantuan.
The drums sound like rolling thunder, especially the toms. The vocals are classic Swedeath, sounding like a hybrid of LG Petrov and Matti Karki. The divebombing leads are well-executed, and in some songs, more intense than the screeching melodic bends that Dismember uses.
It’s a bitch having to compare an album with predecessors in a genre that’s seen great redundancy, but damnit, this is one of the best tribute albums to Swedeath I’ve heard in years, and I am loving every minute of its runtime. If you just happen to be addicted to Swedeath, you’ll play this album repeatedly for days without saying, “Damnit, where are my Entombed and Dismember CDs!”
This album is also a good introduction to the heaping carcass of old Swedeath, if you just happen to be born too late. Swedeath never died, Skelethal seems to say with this release. Show your support for great music by getting a copy of this rager!