Gods Forsaken – “Smells Of Death” (Soulseller Records)
Filthy old school Swedish Death Metal with no frills! An underground super group featuring ex members of Amon Amarth, Asphyx, Paganiser, Wombbath, Henry Kane and pretty much a 100 other bands, Gods Forsaken released their highly acclaimed debut in 2017, and now comes its visceral follow up. Given the pedigree and sheer experience on show here, it’s little wonder that this nasty little gem is a high echelon release while in keeping to the authentic Swe-deth formula of predatory roaring, thick Boss HM-2 guitars, reverb drenched bass and massive drums. So “Smells Of Death” it certainly does across the 9 mean tracks here, but equally there’s plenty of melodies and ambient touches to go with the mammoth hooks and powerful grooves to ensure there’s tons of slickness to all the brutality here. From the epic but dirty riffs come the shining melodies on the dark title opener ‘Smells Of Death’ as the double bass drums thud slowly away, building the excitement (along with the loudness!) along with an ominous atmosphere before the chopping intensity of driller killer riffola on ‘Dead And Buried’ scythes away as Jonny Pettersson’s muffled Chris Barnes growls along with screams of ‘..buried alive!…buried alive!..’ and death grunts really soak the ‘..sound of a shovel..’ into you on this one! With the kick drum powering the meat cleaver axes on ‘The Dead Laughed’ the distorted filth couldn’t get any thicker although once again, some glittering melodies piercing through add the finesse as do the drums with some double bass runs to not just keep up the intensity but equally, excitement by offering intelligent variations and turns. However, if its the full fury that you want, then ‘Birth Of Insanity’ should do the honours with its filthy smoking chainsaw guitars, relentless frenzied drums and Pettersson’s predatory growls providing a non stop cannonade until mid song, when a slower epic groove takes over with some passionate guitar melodies really adding some class making for a touching ending. Impressive in every aspect, “Smells Of Death” does everything it sez on the tin, so prepare for a real headbanger on this one.