UNDERGANG, Indhentet Af Doden (2011, Xtreem Music)

The skull:
He so horny! Of all the horned skulls in the Skullection — perhaps our largest subset — Mr. Undergang here is the horniest of them all. I count 12 horns protruding from this guy’s noggin. There’s nearly one horn for every spear plunging into the guy’s head space, 11 spears in fact, and while balance would have been nice at an even 12, they’re doing the job and keeping this gnarly bastard from getting into any more trouble. All manner of wraith-like visages look on, either in amusement or mocking grins, as if to say “not so fast, Horndog!” You get the feeling this guy’s seen better days, falling from grace as a Prince of Hell or a Lord of the Underworld or some such distinction. Here, he’s met his match. Still, one sharp snap of the head to the left or right, you’d think maybe those toothpick-thin spears would be rendered useless. I’d like to imagine Undergang’s next album shows us the next panel in this saga, with Horny breaking free of his bonds and kicking unholy ass on all those wise-ass specters. (It doesn’t, but it does feature about 30 non-horned skulls impaled on spears, so there’s at least some kind of thematic continuity.)

The music:
This album kinda caught fire. It was originally released in 2010 as a promo cassette in a mere 100 copies, but in short order got scooped up by two different labels and, by the next year, was pressed onto vinyl and CD. It seems to have been deserving of all that attention. Undergang have quietly been banging away with some of the most distinctive old-school-esque death metal while everyone else rips off Entombed/Dismember ad nauseam. They take the heavier road, always, mixing the aesthetics of early Napalm Death with the ridiculously bloated churning of bands like Rottrevore and Mortician, all played with the skill of any halfway decent Swedeath practitioner you care to name. Everything is lllooowww as fuck: gruff vocals from way deep down in a pit and an incredibly fat guitar sound like the roar of 15 tractor engines. If you ever wondered what it would sound like if Incantation recorded Bolt Thrower songs in Sunlight Studio with the guy from Pan-Thy-Monium on vocals, here you go.
— Friar Wagner

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