TASTE OF BLOOD, Skull of Vaccuum / Survive the Rain (2006, self-released)
He’s comin’ atcha, this skull, so fast that he’s starting to blur. So fast that you couldn’t snap off a pic before he’d pretty much filled the entire frame. You’re gonna taste the blood, all right, when this guy headbutts you. I guess you might taste some logo, too. Chew that gingerly – it looks sharp.
In ’99 or so, you couldn’t spit at a label roster without hitting a band like this, just a straight-up In Flames / Dark Tranquillity knockoff (for another German example, see: Night In Gales). They were everywhere, these bands, and because they were playing an inherently inoffensive and palatable style (sugary melodic death metal), none of them were really bad, but you could count on these acts going in one ear and out the other. By 2006, when this single (!) came out, pretty much all the melodic death metal bands in the traditional Gothenburg mold had vanished, supplanted by their sadder, degenerate ancestors, the Killswitch Engage clones and their mopey ‘core brethren. I’ll admit, I’d take Taste of Blood any day over that shit, but that’s really putting the “lesser” in “lesser of two evils.”
— Friar Johnsen