Heavy Death are a band from Sweden that has been featured before in this zine and plays an old school mixture of doom and death metal and this is a review of their 2014 cassette compilation which was released by Caligari Records and contains their 2 demos “A Long Obscure Trip” and “Darkness Of No Return”.
The first side of the cassette has the 3rd demo and it starts out with some psychedelic style sounds being mixed in with a more melodic doom/death metal sound and you can also hear all of the musical instruments on the demo and after awhile growls are added into the music along with some melodic chants.
Most of the bands musical sound is heavily rooted in the early 90’s Swedish style of death metal while also mixing in a bit of the U.S and U.K doom/death metal sound from the same era while the clean singing gives the music more of an original feeling and the music on the 3rd demo sticks to a slow, dark and heavy sound from beginning to end.
On demo number 2 the music starts out with a dark ambient sounding drone before going into a doom metal direction a few seconds later along with some morbid sounding melodies and growling vocals and just like the previous demo all of the musical instruments are very easy to hear and the band also still has the old school feeling of early death and doom metal
The vocals at times have a melodic tone to them reminding me of early Cathedral and one of the later tracks also sees more clean singing and when solos and leads are added into the music they sound very dark, distorted and melodic while they are not a huge part of the recording with most of the demo focusing more on a slow doom/death metal sound and when spoken word parts are added in the music starts to have a more ritualistic feeling along with a heavy Hellhammer influence.
Heavy Death remain true to their doom/death metal sound on those 2 demo’s keeping everything slow and heavy as well as adding in clean singing which makes the music have more of an original edge, the production sounds very dark and old school while the lyrics cover darkness and horror themes.
In my opinion this is a very great sounding compilation from Heavy Death and if you are a fan of doom/death metal, you should check out this recording. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE “All I See Is Decay” “Darkness Of No Return” and “Infernal Celestial View”. 8 out of 10.
Demo I – Post Mortem in Aeternum Tenebrarum, II – Darkness of No Return & Demo III – A Long Obscure Trip are all baleful creations of doom death metal duo Heavydeath formed by Necrocurses Johan Backman and Nicklas Rudolfsson (Basstard and Terror).
Post Mortem in Aeternum Tenebrarum comes grumbling in with teeth bared. A quivering fucker of a sound draws you in with ceremonial low-tuned fuzz and kicks off with a whiplash of a growl. The vocals here are unnervingly good thanks to Rudoflsson, who can switch seamlessly from throbbing oration worthy of Messiah Marcolin to a gut-churning snarl, and the ponderous rock-cracking slug of bass, drum and guitar urges the great beast of dissonance ever onward. Heavydeath’s three demo’s are definitely evocative of their fellow modern Swedish Doom powerhouse Saturnalia Temple, but where Temple favours the ripe symbolism of the Sumerian ritual, Heavydeath’s weapon of choice lies with its stubborn – if a tad speedier – unwavering belligerence of heavy resonance.
Darkness of No Return is unstable in its onslaught – in a good way. Flowing from achingly slow sets of decending arpeggios to leaden mid-tempo riffs and harrowing tremelo it buries you in a mud-cut arroyo and coalesces into a force to be reckoned with. Title ‘Internal Celestial View’ is a stand out peace of fuzz-fed power tripping that leads into a perfection of a key-based outro.
With all tentative measure cast to the winds A Long Obscure Trip tears through the empyrean with rolling drums and two-fisted shreds. It’s a slavering, hungry thing and it wants you to take part in its procession. It bucks and rushes ahead, a crescendo met with sticky reverb and mad thunder. It’s made beautiful mess and holds no shame. Let Heavydeath lock its jaws around you and carry you off.
Fresh off the tape deck, (demo II-III currently all sold out!) pick ‘em up over at the good doctor.
Sweden’s HEAVYDEATH and the US’s Caligari Records have teamed up again, this time to release their second and third demos on a limited run cassette which is already about to sell out as I write this. It picks up pretty much right where their first demo ended, carrying on like a funeral procession through the abyss. The “Demo II: Darkness of No Return” side of the tape opens with an slow build up to a crushing riff that would seem perfectly fitting for a quest through cyclopean ruins, slaughtering anything that stood in your path. As you get through “Darkness of No Return”, you come to the song “Eternal Sleepwalker”, and after a short droning opening with lots of guitar noise, and slow plodding drums, the brutal riff sets in, slow and colossal, with the guttural vocals sounding like their being bellowed from the darkest pit of hell, after a short build up your hit with a mid-tempo, sludgy riff fest, with the drums kicking it up a notch to keep up its’ march forward. As the tape flips and you make it to “Demo III: A Long Obscure Trip” and when the opener “Desolation” starts up you’re immediately accosted with guitar feedback and a rolling drum intro, then with almost no hesitation the riff comes in and gives the track an immediate spacey vibe, with the drums blasting behind it, lending to the enormity of the sound they’re working with. After the tempo drops off again, the music takes on an even slow Funeral Doom vibe, but like all of their music so far, nothing stays the same for very long and you’re brought back up to mid-tempo with wailing guitars and furious drumming. The next song on this side is the title track “A Long Obscure Trip”, it opens up with that same gigantic wall of sound this band has trademarked, enormous, crushing, and atmospheric all at the same time. The drummer keeps a serious groove on this song, overall it slows and speeds up, but always makes sure to come full circle and end on a heavy note, droning out slowly to the next track. After that you’re hit with my favorite probably, “All I See is Decay”, sounding more like a Sludge Metal song than the rest of their catalog, it opens up with a screaming guitar part, with the drummer slowly building his sound until it’s at full swing behind the distorted riff and ominous vocals that sound almost more chanted than sang, but it all slows down after a few moments and takes on an even darker atmosphere this go ’round. This is the sound of Death Metal after being force fed a bottle of Vicodin, and you should be able to find everything you need at either the Caligari Store or HEAVYDEATH bandcamp to get your 50 minute fix of Death/Doom goodness.
I think I found Caligari Records as well as Heavydeath as the same time. It was a wonderful afternoon / early morning. Caligari Records is a spectacular label / distributor which specializes in lesser known cassettes of a particularly rotting variety. Heavydeath is a band made up of members of Runemagick and Necrocurse who specialize in a particularly rotting variety of death/doom. Though death/doom isn’t entirely novel, Heavydeath’s approach to the style is not only refreshing but it is a cause for feverish excitement as their 2014 trilogy of demos far surpasses most releases this year.
What separates Heavydeath from other death / doom is their embrace of the traditional style of doom. This doom comes with guitar wails, and a slightly optimistic swagger. Additionally, the vocals from Nicklas Rudolfsson are positioned in such a way to reflect the snarl of old school death metal. Much like Demo I, the subsequent releases from Heavydeath are almost seamless tracks which hover around the 20 to 30 minute mark. This means all three could consistute one damn fine full length release.
As a cohesive piece, Demo I and Demo III are the most interesting with the second being the most buried in heavy death/doom. Demo I pique interest with Demo II flinging the listeners to the far reaches of blackness. The opening warped riffs of Demo III, however, welcomes the listener back from the journey with stoner banners and a tone of maniacal celebration. Rarley has death/doom been this interesting and exhilarating to experience. Heavydeath simulates a flume ride which descends into something that is darker and thicker than water.
Heavydeath have created something special which maybe familiar to fans of Runemagick. For those not, then Heavydeath walks the listener hand and hand through a land of traditional darkness. The band’s attitude makes up its largest selling point as there is no point in these three demos where the listener feels hopeless and suffocated. Heavydeath empowers its listener to become masters over their blighted realm. By the opening warped riffs of Demo III, every listener will become a Baron with an esate of decay and ruin. Heavydeath is a festering noble class and these releases have the potential to create empires of rot.