Descending through ashes
There's something intriguing about Sweden's Mr. Death that makes you want to come back for more even though you're not quite sure if you're that into their new album. Historically, that has been the mark of a damn good recording for me, with case in point being "Contradictions collapse". When Meshuggah released their debut back in '91 I had the same feeling; I wasn't quite sure if I liked it, but I kept coming back for more. Now it's one of my all-time favorite albums. I sincerely doubt that I'll be singing the praises of "Descending through the ashes" in 20 years time, but it definitely has something special for now. It's a combination of that odd sound -- like a mix of the American and Swedish deathgrinders from back in the day -- and a unique songwriting technique that's simple, yet very effective. On every listen I'm wondering if the songwriting is actually any good and I still can't put my finger on it. That it has me returning to it on a regular basis speaks volumes. It's old-school Swedish/American death metal with a production that would make Satan shit himself. Good enough for me!
- John Norby