Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mordbrand - Necropsychotic

Mordbrand
Necropsychotic
Deathgasm Records

Mordbrand (Which means arson in Swedish) are a relatively new act on the Swedish death metal scene, with the trio having formed a couple of years ago. But despite this, there’s plenty of experience within the band, with vocalist Per Boder once a member of cult underground act God Macabre (Who released the highly acclaimed ‘The Winterlong’ back in 1993), and guitarist/bassist/backing vocalist Björn Larsson and drummer Johan Rudberg still retaining their membership in the thrash band The Law, and in the crust/grind outfit Karensdag.
With such credentials, I was surprised to find that the band had already released a split E.P. with Evoke last year. But then given the rather low profile of the label it was released on (The U.K. based Me Saco Un Ojo Records), it’s probably not that hard to figure out why there was little mention of the release anywhere.
Despite this, Mordbrand have signed up with Deathgasm Records, and returned with a new E.P. in the form of ‘Necropsychotic’. And while I was excited with the prospect of hearing what the trio could come up with, I must say the end results are a little underwhelming.
In all fairness, it’s hard to break new ground as a death metal band that originates from Sweden. Anything that could have been done with the genre has been done, and countless times over and over again. In that respect, I don’t expect Mordbrand to seriously unearth a new sound or direction.
What I did expect was something that would excite and perhaps linger in the mind once the E.P. was finished. Unfortunately, as solid as Mordbrand’s batch of six new songs are they’re far from sounding anything above O.K.
The opening track ‘Eaters Of The Void’ gives listeners a fair indication of what the band are about in the musical sense, with the band mixing old school Swedish death ‘n’ roll (Which is evident by Rudberg’s d-beat drumming efforts) with a touch of brutality in the vein of Dismember, Vader and Grave.
‘Graveyard Revisited’ and ‘Deathbound’ are essentially Entombed worship efforts without the guitar buzz and dense production values, while ‘Skärseld (Return To The Unholy)’ takes on an even heavier and darker tone than the former, which inevitably earns its place as the E.P.’s strongest track.
The melodic riff work within ‘The Fall Of Flesh’ is notably well done, but the slow moving groovy closer ‘Deliverance’ seems to lack the spark of some of the other tracks - finishing the E.P. on a bit of a weak note.
Mordbrand are a good band, and ‘Necropsychotic’ is an O.K. E.P. But with so many other bands sounding good, and releasing O.K. efforts, this release just doesn’t have enough to make it stand out.
Hopefully with their next release, Mordbrand will finally deliver something that raises the bar on their former efforts, rather than simply settle for more of the same.

For more information on Mordbrand, check out - http://www.myspace.com/mordbranddeath

© Justin Donnelly