Blood Fueled Chaos
Ibex Moon Records
The old-school death metal revival doesn’t seem to be abating one bit at Ibex Moon Records, with the label’s latest signing coming in the form of Swedish death metal outfit Caliber 666. On paper, ‘Blood Fueled Chaos’, the debut full-length effort from the Stockholm based outfit, looks quite promising. Aside from hailing from Sweden (The traditional home of everything old-school death metal), the band’s debut effort was mixed by none other than Fred Estby (Ex-Dismember/Carnage drummer, who’s now active in Necronaut), and features guest vocal appearances from ex-Carnage/Dismember front man Matti Kärki and the legendary L-G Petrov of Entombed.
But as impressive as the credits are, it has to be said that while Caliber 666’s debut effort ‘Blood Fueled Chaos’ is good, it’s far from a perfect release.
Much of the problem with the album comes down to the band’s somewhat patchy song writing, and the album’s overall sound, which is too unrefined to be called a typically modern death metal sounding album, and yet nowhere near raw and buzzing enough to be true to the sound associated with the Sunlight Studios era.
Having said that, the five piece act (Comprising of vocalist Joakim Mikiver, guitarists Tomas Burgman and Tony Riggo, bassist Jim Riggo and drummer Peter Pettersson) do offer up some interesting moments amongst the ten tracks they offer listeners on their debut.
The opening track ‘To The Killing Fields’ is a perfect example of where the band have all the right ingredients to create something special, but end up with something that’s less than appetising. After a slow building introduction (Which includes a sample from the character Pinhead of ‘Hellraiser’ fame), the band take on a familiar death metal sound that’s essentially traditional and familiar sounding with its mix of speed, buzzing guitar work and low level guttural vocals. While there’s nothing new under the sun in terms of old-school death metal, the song just doesn’t seem to exude any real magic or stand out in any particular way, which means that while it may get your head banging to some extent, it’s hardly the kind of track that will really stay in the mind for any length of time.
In contrast, ‘Let The Blood Flow’ (Which features Kärki on vocals) sounds a whole lot livelier, and boasts some truly crushing riffs. Elsewhere, the blasting/melodically inclined ‘Incineration’, ‘The Worthless’ (An obvious highlight with guest contributions from Petrov), ‘Frontline’ and the closer ‘Morphing’ (By far the most experimental and different sounding track on the album) are the definite picks on the album.
Overall, ‘Blood Fueled Chaos’ isn’t so much a terrible album, but more a patchy and disappointing one. Caliber 666 show enough promise on their debut to warrant further investigation into anything they present in the future. But as it stands at the moment, don’t expect much from ‘Blood Fueled Chaos’, and you’ll no doubt be pleased with what the band have to offer.
For more information on Caliber 666, check out - http://www.myspace.com/caliber666sweden
© Justin Donnelly