Wombbath – “The Great Desolation”

Wombbath – “The Great Desolation” (Soulseller Records) 

Battle Helm Rating

One of Sweden’s original death metal bands, Wombbath made relative headway in the early 90s, releasing their debut “Internal Caustic Torments” along with a series of EPs and splits before splitting midway through the decade. Resurrected by guitarist Håkan Stuvemark in 2015, the band have returned to fine form, releasing sophomore “Downfall Rising” in the same year followed by a steady stream of splits yearly taking us very neatly to this 3rd album. Rooted in the old school, expect the usual in terms of filthy Boss HM-2 driven guitars, distorted bass and savage, nuclear propelled drums along with hoarse, guttural vocals played at various speeds across the 9 brutal tracks here. Still, Wombbath have their moments of finesse, and amid the furore of their noise there’s plenty of heavy metal (and often virtuoso) solos, uplifting licks and most of all, death n roll grooves accompanied by attention grabbing melodies that while making their mark, do nothing to detract from the authenticity of the potent old school noise here. Chundering in with ‘Harvester Of Sin’ the full assault is unleashed with Jonny Pettersson’s roars almost crushed between the phat riffs of Stuvemark and axe partner Al Riglinn as they roll and twist, turning your brain inside out for Johan Momqvist’s booming bass to complete the damage. It doesn’t any more mercyful on the slower but grinding ‘Footsteps Of Armageddon’ with its constant wall of noise although splendidly interrupted by twisting catchy grooves and some glittering melodies adding a quality contrast along with some shimmering solo work wailing amid the maelstrom. Best track for me was actually the longest, the 6 minute ‘Hail The Obscene’ that opened ambiently enough before a face smashing wall of distorted noise hit contrasted superbly by some very catchy melodies unashamedly prominent in the mix while the brooding menace of the track grew under my skin – excellent. Clearly well deserved in their resurrection, Wombbath present a top notch blast from the past release here!

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