When it comes to Death'n Roll ENTOMBED is the undisputed champion. After all these years they are still able to play heavy music that sounds like it’s played and not forced through the speakers. If you want an example of a song that sounds forced through your loud speakers you should take a listen to “Payback. To find “Payback”, you have to own SLAYER’s “God Hates Us All”, an ok record all in all but far from what SLAYER have done in the past. Since ENTOMBED are so often compared with SLAYER I would like to use this opportunity to state that ENTOMBED sounds like a band that has more to give, something SLAYER didn’t sound like on “God Hates Us All”. When it comes to pure musically speaking I agree that ENTOMBED has some similarities with SLAYER. Still there is only one song that I would say really sounds like SLAYER, that being “About To Die”, almost like a homage to SLAYER that tune.
I have to admit that I’ve never been the biggest ENTOMBED fan. In fact I prefer their newer recordings before their old ones, though I like the old ones better now than I used to. Over the years ENTOMBED has evolved from Death Metal to Death’n Roll. The down tuned guitars are the reason why ENTOMBED still hasn’t got rid of the death tag on their art. The vocals aren’t growled, though it could hardly be said to be ordinary singing. For most people it should be easy to figure out what L.G Petrov has to say, if they understand English of course. Whether you understand English or not the music should be universal enough to make people around the world enjoy it. Not universal like SOULFLY, with Gipsy Flutes, Serbian Reggae or any other ethnic influences like that. With universal I mean music that could be enjoyed wherever it’s allowed to be enjoyed. Man do I have a hard time picturing a Saudi Arabian head banging.
I guess the time has come to say some words about the different songs on “Morning Star”. It starts with something that sounds like a heart beat, a very calm start it is. It’s so calm that there’s even piano present. If you turned up your stereo then you are in for a treat when “Chief Rebel Angel” kicks in for real. It’s should be almost impossible to dislike how they’ve tuned their guitars, a fat sound with an excellent crunch, very Swedish. “Chief Rebel Angel” sees ENTOMBED hitting bulls eye right away, giving the rest of the material a hard time keeping up. Fortunately the rest of songs don’t give up easily, ensuring us a record that I would put in the very good category. The only song I feel could have been left out is the aforementioned SLAYER hear alike “About To Die”. I’ve praised the guitar sound, but when it goes fast, like it does in “About To Die”, things get muddy. Fortunately the tempo is kept in an appropriate speed on the vast majority of the record. In my opinion the first half of the record is the best one. It’s not a rapid drop of quality; it’s just that the first part of the album has that little extra. The only time there is a rapid drop of quality is when “About To Die” kicks in. Things are back to normal when “Mental Twin” takes over its place in your stereo.
For some reasons ENTOMBED is some of the best music you can enjoy a cold beer to. That could be the reason why they managed to keep it going for so long. Somewhere in the future I will sue them for making me into an alcoholic, that’s after I’ve moved to the U.S.A. (Online December 15, 2005)