Swedish death metal has started to bore me a little, with many new releases undoubtedly sounding extremely good but largely make use of the same formula over and over again. Pulverised Records has surprised fans though, first with the release of Bastard Priest‘s debut full length, Under the Hammer of Destruction, followed by bands such as Morbus Chron, bringing some hope and some fresh air to the already over-saturated Swedish death metal scene.
Ghouls of the Endless Night is the follow up to Bastard Priest‘s 2010 Under the Hammer of Destruction, and one look at the band’s photos one is forgiven if he mistakes the band for a hardcore punk band, as this is certainly one of the big influences of the band, as will be shown on the music of Ghouls of the Endless Night. Recent releases like Entrails‘ The Tomb Awaits has displayed the hallmark of more modern Swedish-styled death metal, but Bastard Priest breaks down all such impressions as Ghouls of the Endless Night displays right from the start with Pestilent Force. The raw energy in the music and the production of the music immediately displays the band’s hardcore-punk influence, complete with the d-beats of drummer Matt. The usage of cowbells at times also provides a somewhat quirky moment, yet an interesting touch to the music. The vocals on the album is a throaty growl, but the vile way that the lyrics are spit out with hate make Ghouls of the Endless Night all the more powerful.
The riffs on the album also lean towards an almost hardcore punk side. Simple as they are, these certainly achieve their aim and goal of displaying the energy that is contained within guitarist Inventor, backed by the explosive drumming style of Matt. The guitar tone and playing style of Inventor are reminiscent of fellow countrymen Morbus Chron, with the high and trebly presence in the mix, especially on tracks like Ghouls of the Endless Night. Inventor also displays his ingenuity in writing his riffs, referring to influences in a subtle manner, such as on the riffs on Last Scream, which reminds listeners of those from Blasphemy‘s Ritual (or maybe it’s just me hallucinating). The haunting lead guitar line on Enter Eternal Nightmare even reminds listeners of bands like Acid Witch. Moments like the intro to title track, Ghouls of the Endless Night make use of what Bloodbath calls the “Stockholm beat”, and helps to give the music a heavily Swedish flavour, bringing some familiarity to fans of more recent Swedish death metal bands like the aforementioned Bloodbath. Slower songs on the album such as the track Poison infuses some dark moments to the listening experience as well.
The songs on the album, while not particularly short, manage to retain the listener’s attention with the infectious energy and the grooves in the riffs that are unleashed. Listening to what Bastard Priest has put out in recent years though, has certainly given me some hope and reignited the love for Swedish death metal, and suffice to say, Ghouls of the Endless Night is a must-have for all fans of old school Swedish death metal.