Metal Mind's reissue campaign of the forgotten nuggets in the back catalog of the Nuclear Blast roster continues with Prodigal Sun, the 1992 release from Sweden's Afflicted. Though often compared to fellow countrymen Entombed, Unleashed, Grave, Dismember, and Edge of Sanity, Afflicted showed on their debut here that they could more than hold their own, their brand of death metal full of technical prowess and brutality, Prodigal Sun a solid display of tunes that remains to their day their best known album. Plenty of thrashy riffs, pummeling drum work, and snarling growls abound on this one, the guitar team of Jesper Thorsson & Joacim Carlsson especially doing a fine job churning out monstrous riffs and frenzied solos. Drummer Yasim Hillborg's non-stop double bass drum assualt also is quite impressive, as he blasts away on tunes like "In Years to Come" and "Harbouring the Soul" with reckless precision. Despite all the impressive musicianship showed by the band, the weak link is singer Joakim Broms, whose gravelly vocals at times come across as very one dimensional. It's when he seems to channel the late Chuck Schuldiner on tunes like "Tidings From The Blue Sphere" and "Spirit Spectrum", taking the band into late 80's Death territory, that he really seems to make his vocal attack work.
All told, Prodigal Sun is not a perfect metal album by any means, but if you want to fill in some of the gaps in your early 90's Swedish death metal collection, you'll want to have this one, as there's plenty to like here. Metal Mind keeps their digipack re-release faithfull to the Nuclear Blast original version, complete with full artwork and lyrics, plus an essay on the band.
1. Prodigal Sun
2. Harbouring The Soul
3. In Years To Come
4. Tidings From The Blue Sphere
5. The Empty Word
7. Rising To The Sun
8. Spirit Spectrum
9. The Doomwatcher's Prediction
10. Consumed In Flames
11. Ivory Tower