After finding out the connection between Ghost and Repugnant, I quickly got hooked onto the thrashy, chaotic-styled Swedish death metal that Repugnant dishes out. From there, my fascination in the genre led me to bands like Tribulation, Morbus Chron, and of course, Degial and their debut album Death’s Striking Wings.
With their sophomore album though, the band seemed to start taking a darker route, with hints of black metal peppered on Savage Mutiny, though their thrashy edge was still unmistakable.
And now here we are with their new album, Predator Reign. Jumping from Death’s Striking Wings to Predator Reign, one may be forgiven for not realising that these are records from the same band. The blackened edge has now been fully integrated into their sound, and from the get go the comparisons to those cavernous black/death metal bands such as Vorum and Corpsessed are obvious. Considering the fact that 2/4 of the band hail from Vorum, perhaps this isn’t too surprising at the same time.
Trem-picked riffs are aplenty, and the guitars often descend into chaos with the frantic, furious solos that are at times rather reminiscent of the works of Trey Azagthoth on Morbid Angel. Songs like Thousand Spears Impale, with its sense of urgency brings one back to the early days of Altars of Madness and Blessed are the Sick with the sense of urgency.
To disrupt the pace a bit, the band includes doses of doomier, heavier moments throughout the album like on Triumphant Extinction or closer Clangor of Subjugation. Here the band unleashes their madness in a starkly different way, bringing to mind the works of bands like Incantation.
Predator Reign also indulges in a rather cavernous production, giving the album a nice balance between the rawness of 90s death metal and the clarity of a more modern sound.
On albums as such, it is indeed hard to escape the trap of monotony, what with most tracks moving at the same tempo, along with the noise and chaos. However, that is precisely the point of Predator Reign, and Degial manages to ensure that this remains a thoroughly enjoyable album to fans of thrashy, chaotic, Swedish death metal.