MURDER SQUAD is a side-project including members of several Swedish Death Metal-bands: Matti Kärki (CARNAGE, DISMEMBER) on vocals, Uffe Cederlund and Peter Stjärnvind (ENTOMBED) on guitars and drums, Rickard Cabeza (MERCILESS) on bass guitar. The music style they offer us on this record is Death Metal, of course.
But surprisingly enough, it's Death the American way, maybe a tad reminiscent of ENTOMBED, too, so if you're mad at groups like IN FLAMES or DARK TRANQUILLITY, this may not be your cup of tea. Actually, the strongest influence apparent on the album belongs to AUTOPSY.
In fact, this definitely sounds like an AUTOPSY-copycat. Not only lyrically we're delighted with tales of dismembered corpses, floods of blood and mental depravation, but even musically the comparison is quite obvious. The song-writing is various enough to avoid the yawn factor, and has that messy, Hardcore-feel that marked part of Death Metal in the early days and particularly its sub-genre better known as Gore Metal. Take "Twisted High", for instance: the song is undeniably rooted in the Punk-Hardcore-style (listen to the drumming and tell me it isn't a typical Punk-rhythm).
On the other hand, the musicianship is good, but I don't think that's the point here. I mean, the whole album entirely seems to be a divertissement. It's just like four well known musicians having fun and playing songs on a day-off from their respective bands. At least, this is the impression I had while listening to the album. By the way, there's clearly an arrangement work lying behind the tracks, and the production is heavy and clear.
The quality level of the songs is average, but at the same time isn't that exciting at all. There aren't any standout tracks and, quite frankly, with such a talented band, I've expected much more. However, the cause for this is likely to be found in the 'pure fun'-feeling with which the album appears to be conceived, as I said before.
Bottom line: the record itself, it's not that bad, but I believe it's way too derivative and carbon dated to raise the interest of anyone besides the die-hard AUTOPSY-fans or the old-fashioned Death Metal-maniacs.