Beware, all ye who enter here, for only death awaits – a demise that this Swedish trio prolong over seven funereally paced deliberations.
Refined over several demos and recorded in a short timespan with no overdubs, Heavydeath have created a debut long-player that is stripped to the bone. Every shift up and down the fretboard on Ascending is analysed in excruciating detail, the sore throat of Nicklas Rudolfsson choking back blood with each ragged recrimination.
Their ability to create ominous, ritualistic atmospheres with vocal chants and leaden tempo alone is impressive, even if at times the pace allows the attention to wane.
It’s when new life flourishes that the band are at their best, growling as they work on Heavy As Death, or the melodic flourishes of Johan Bäckman’s bass after several agonising minutes of closer Beyond The Riphean Mountains, welcome sprigs of green sprouting amid landscapes of desolation that those of morbid fascination will beg to be buried within./o:p