Swedish death metal, as defined by Entombed, Dismember, Grave, et al, was – and still is – a gruesome beast, as beautiful as it is brutal. No pretentiousness, no frills, just bone-busting violence bashed out with the furious intensity of a last-minute masturbating death row inmate. And if you like that kind of thing – the music that is, not some panic-stricken prisoner pumping his pole – you should get your hands on Demonical's Death Infernal. The band is tight and grooving, the mid-tempo grooves are exceptional, the bass sound is grisly, the drums are monstrous, and together they are terrorizing.
The aptly-titled opener 'The Arrival of Armageddon' is a fairly standard, fast-paced DM track, as is 'Return in Flesh'. That's not to say that they're nothing special, far from it. Though nothing distinctly original, these two tracks are both pulverizing death metal tunes that are a clear declaration of Demonical's intent: all-out, relentless ferocity. 'Black Inferno', however, is where the album shifts up a gear or two and Demonical really show us what they can do. The savagery continuers into the thrashy 'Ravenous' and the anthemic 'March For Victory'. 'Through Hellfire' and 'All Will Perish' are both face-melters, the former's long, atmospheric mid-section dirge adding a darker dimension that takes the album another step away from the Swedish DM template that has come into play maybe a little too often in the earlier tracks. But 'Slain Warriors' and closer 'Darkness Awaits' are two back-to-back killer tracks, the latter closing the album as death metal albums should be closed: a huge, abrasive, ugly bastard of a tune that makes you want to blast the whole thing all over again.
Demonical's Death Infernal is well-produced Swedish death metal at its most gruesomely palatable, with the trademark menacing riffs swathed in signature distortion, throat-ripping growls, and impossibly intense tempos. There's nothing particularly technical here, nor is it deeply original or varied, but when it's this good, who gives a fuck?
Bonus tracks on the Limited Editions:
- The Arrival Of Armageddon
- Return In Flesh
- Black Inferno
- March For Victory
- Through Hellfire
- All Will Perish (The Final Liberation)
- Slain Warriors
- Darkness Awaits
- From Northern Shores
- Night Of The Graveless Souls (Emperor cover)