It’s just too tempting to proffer that FACEBREAKER are as aptly named a band as you’ll come across. Truthfully it doesn’t go far enough, as after these Swedish purveyors of grimy Death Metal are finished masticating your skull, they’ll finish you up by pulverising your entire skeletal remains and probably sprinkle that over their meatballs with nary a thought for your violent demise. Such is the outcome of their filthy, buzz saw brand of DM in the vein of fellow countrymen GRAVE’s early punishing work and with the added speed of DISMEMBER to add insult to your aural injury. From the outset of "Creeping Flesh," the tone is set with churning, deeply fuzzed guitars galloping and slashing their way around the gutters of human waste accompanied by a whirling dervish of drums and bass as solid as they are ground shaking.
There’s nothing new here. Nothing at all, and that’s a beautiful thing. Nope, "Infected" is the album you put on after sitting through the latest Prog-Power or pseudo Black Metal abomination scenster bloggers have been raving about; an album to clean the palate and wipe away the cobwebs of deleterious wankery. Songs like "Torn To Shreds" and "Bloodshed" are always what the Doctor of Metal ordered, ferocious and invigorating. Base chords are hammered out with malicious intent, and fast-picked notes accent these to give the songs breadth and depth. Of course such a sortie into the minefields of devastating Swedish Death requires an implacable voice to front it and Roberth Karlsson (ex-almost every band in Sweden) is pitch perfect in his duties as fire-breathing field general. This is most apparent in the slower (by their standards) tracks "Epidemic" and "Mankind Under Seige," his voice sliding up and gripping your consciousness with his suffocating broken-glass tonsils. Again these songs evoke the best of GRAVE with their surging, mid-paced battering ram style and tone, leaving aside lesser Death Metal mortals crushed in their wake.
Again, nothing’s going to surprise you about "Infected," as they reach back to a more glorious time of European DM; however they do also conjure the finest elements of the first BLOODBATH album, with their ability to grind away in that famous Swedish fashion yet never sounding stale or overreaching. With nifty speed picking backed by a drum line slowed behind it a la Lombardo, "Into The Pit" plays a little with the genre but not so much as to defy the elements that make FACEBREAKER a stoic representation of all the splendour that is their brand of soul-crushing Death Metal. Followed by the relentlessly tortuous "Bloodthirst," it is obvious by this point that "Infected" is a master class in tempered, but brutal DM, and should be included in the playlist of all those who love their Metal rough-hewn and out not just to batter your phizog, but also make you love every twisted moment of it.
(Online September 15, 2011)