Featuring 2 members of Swedish death metal legends Nirvana 2002, Under The Church is a band that continues to fly the flag of the disgusting, HM-2 driven sound that the country is known for. “Rabid Armageddon” is the band’s first full-length release, and is a stellar album that perfectly encompasses everything that these bands were about in the early 1990s. For one thing, the guitar tone on this album is beyond heavy. It sounds as if they’ve tuned as low as humanly possible, connected several HM-2 pedals together (which doesn’t even really make sense), and ran it through their amp’s distortion channel. Seriously, this sound is not for the faint of heart; it has some major fuzz to it, making riffs more discernable by their rhythms than the pitches of the notes they contain. Nonetheless, Under The Church manages to write great songs even though a lot of the guitar parts run together.
The title track is one of the best examples, as its chorus will make you easily scream along to “Rabid Armageddon” with easy. Whether it is your first listen of the album or your 10th, this song remains the easiest to latch on to. Another standout is “Suspended In Gore”, where lead vocalist Mik Annetts enunciates clearer than anywhere else on the record so that you can easily hear the carnage he describes. As he delivers lyrical violence, the band also consistently delivers musical mayhem. There is not a moment of compromise on this record, as it is filled to the brim with cavernous, monolithic riffs with no end in sight. The band does experiment slightly on “Penance”, as much of the song makes use of slower, doomier riffs that are definitely unexpected, but the result is still immensely heavy. Even though Under The Church does a pretty good job of writing memorable songs, having this unique section on the record helps to keep the entire record fresh.
“Rabid Armageddon” has everything an old-school Swedish death metal fan could ask for. Admittedly, this has never been my favourite style of death metal, primarily because I felt like there was less emphasis on songwriting in the Swedish scene than in the Floridian death metal scene, for example. But Under The Church has no such problem, and they also deliver the authentic sound as though it were still 1992. Combine this with the absolutely astounding cover art, and you’ve got a very complete package.
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"Suspended In Gore"
4.0/5 or 80%.
Written by Scott