Entombed- Left Hand Path
Lars-Göran Petrov - Vocals
Uffe Cederlund - Guitars / Bass
Alex Hellid - Guitars
Nicke Andersson - Drums / Bass
This is one of my favourite albums. Unknown at the time who Nihilist was, I received a best of Compilation of the band that had 13 songs, most of which were released on Nihilist's previous demos. I fell in love with this compilation, it was a sound that I hadn't heard before, the bass and guitar tone was just really wonderful and put forward the brutality of the instruments itself. The guitar tone just sounded so damned evil, I was just hooked. As seeing this was released back in '88, I hadn't realised at the time just how big their impact was on the death metal scene and enjoyed their demo regardless. I played it all the time and sometimes I was a bit disappointed that the band broke up and didn't release any more material. Or did they?
They didn't. They changed their name to become Entombed and released this album shortly afterwards. Had I realised that the members of Nihilist went on to make this album, I would have checked this band out ages ago! I bought this album not knowing it entailed some of my favourite efforts by Nihilist on the album.
As soon as it started, I instantly recognised the thickness of the guitar tone, I realised instantly that this was Nihilist under a different name ! One can imagine how chuffed I was. Everything on this album is sublime. The guitar tone, the drumming, the unique vocals for the time, the lyrics are at a top-notch standard here, even the artwork is very creepy to look at, contributing to the overall feel of the album. The guitar tone/thickness was due to massive distortion of by the HM-2 stompbox by Boss which gave them a part of their unique sound. The production of the CD is sound. The lyrics are also pretty good, as you can see below; but unfortunately three out of ten songs, the lyrics are available. We only can make our own assumptions of what has been penned in the rest of the songs.
1. Left Hand Path 06:39
2. Drowned 04:02
3. Revel in Flesh 03:43
4. When Life Has Ceased 04:11
5. Supposed to Rot 02:04
6. But Life Goes On 03:00
7. Bitter Loss 04:22
8. Morbid Devourment 05:26
9. Abnormally Deceased 02:59
10. The Truth Beyond 03:25
As soon as the guy screams on the first song of Left Hand Path, I was instantly hooked. It lasts for over 6 minutes and what a way to open up the album with! It is full of tempo changes that ranges from fast-pummelling riffs to a slow standstill, with atmospheric growls. The song refers to the Left Hand Path belief system; the guitarist found the term in the Satanic bible and penned a verse based on it.
'..I am my own God, master, slave
And I will be beyond the grave
No one will take my soul away
I carry my own will and make my day '
At 3:54, there is a soft and melodic section which comes from the theme song from a horror film of Phantasm in the 1970s.
Drowned is pretty cool; the guitars have been turned down so low it's so damn thick! The drumming is really essential here; it really complements the style of guitarist with the thrash-style drumming style in its tempo.
Revel in Flesh is probably one of my favourite songs ever; the riffs are rather crunchy and has a fast tempo in which it fits in with the style of the song. The alternating drum beat is the core of the song. The guitars dictates the tempo, then stops, the drums carries it for a second before returning it back, what this does I think, brings the listener back to listen even more.
Supposed to Rot is a pretty short but sweet song. The riffs here are possibly one of the coolest riffs on the album. It is pretty good song that contains superb songwriting, speed and aggressiveness/brutality.
But Life Goes On- This is one of the songs that was on Nihilist's demo and it is also one of my favourites. It is just a simple song that works exceedingly well. It contains a bit weird and obscure solo that is rather cool.'But Life Goes On' shows this band's abilities and their unique sound. To get an idea what they are like with just the one song, this is it. The lyrics are available for this song and puts across the tone of the song pretty well; they do a lot of effects to emphasis on the lyrics, in particular;
'...But why should I go to heaven
And who's to say I'll enter hell... '
They use power chords to emphasis on hell and it does make for a pretty cool overall effect.
The album gets heavier and thicker as it progresses along, becoming more and more relentless. However, after the 7th track, it becomes more average and perhaps more 'same'y. There are still pretty good riffs dotted in songs of no 7 to no 10. Every song has their own main riff, none are borrowed or copied from other songs, so it is pretty easy to distinguish between all of them. There's not a single filler song, every song contributes to the overall feel of the album.
The musicians at the time, showcased their extraordinary abilities to make this album, considering they were very young at the time- Hellid and Cederlund churn out superb and cool-sounding riffs that was extremely memorable, further solidified by Andersson's unique style of drumming that was powerful and really complemented the style. To top it off, Petrov had his gravely atmospheric growl.
This is a nice blend of 80's punk style and (thrash) death style to their songs, it was unheard of at the time and it still is. It still holds up as a classic album that started off the Swedish death metal genre. And it has made me love the death metal genre for what it is.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Left Hand Path
3 Revel In Flesh
4 When Life Has Ceased
5 Supposed To Rot
6 But Life Goes On
7 Bitter Loss
8 Morbid Devourment
9 Abnormally Deceased
10 Truth Beyond
11 Carnal Leftovers