Lik – “Carnage” (Metal Blade)
Lik. That name sounds a bit wimpy doesn’t it? That is, until you know what it means which is ‘corpse’ in Swedish! Aptly chosen given this shredding power trio’s style is death metal, and in particular the classic Swe-deth style pioneered by the likes of Grave, Entombed and most notably Dismember, then Lik is highly befitting. Made up of veteran members from Carnal Forge, Katatonia and Bloodbath (and that’s just a few bands to mention!), Lik deliver in fine style and to devastating effect across the 10 tracks on this mesmerising sophomore. Drenched by massive Boss HM-2 pedals soaking the already distorted sound in reverb to the max, the frenzied, chopping rhythm of dirty bass and smashing drums put forward the wasteland on which Tomas Åkvik’s tortured drawls creep. Releasing their debut only 2 years ago in “Mass Funeral Evocation”, “Carnage” reflects its name brilliantly in every aspect across the material here, and thanks to Lawrence Mackrory’s (Darkane, F.K.Ü) ‘live’ production, the sound is definitely loud and in your face! From the fretboard whirring ‘Dr Duschanka’ with its death n roll groove and precision double bass drumming beats, you know this is underground death metal but played by masters as the hugely catchy hooks and suave funeral doom melodies rise above the rot to both satiate and savage you simultaneously. Starting slowly enough on ‘The Deranged’ to really allow you feel the reverb, the crushing riffs slowly hit into you like a psycho stalking his prey, creating a foreboding atmosphere before a twisted wailing solo ends the song in feedback – wow. If by now shuddering from the emotional overload, then closer ‘Embrace The End’ delivers the coup de grâce with its massive powering grooves as deathly melodies dance and spin their weave through virtuosic neo classical moments to really show off why these guys have already played the smaller European festivals like Finlands’ Tuska Open Air, Metal Days in Slovenia and Gefle Metal Festival in their home country of Sweden. This is one lean, mean rockin’ corpse!