If you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on recently, death metal seems to have been going down the wrong path for some time now. Newer bands focus almost entirely on musical precision and high production values and write some of the most embarrassing lyrics to ever disgrace a metal album, often sounding like an angsty 12-year-old’s poor attempt at waxing philosophical. Sticking a middle finger in the face of this so-called “progress,” Sweden’s Bastard Priest pays homage to the old ways with their second full-length, Ghouls of the Endless Night.
If you’re looking for something innovative and “modern,” then you might as well leave the hall now—every element of this album can be dated back to the late ’80s/early ’90s during the great Swedish DM explosion. Sure, it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but the band’s passion and sincerity more than compensate for any lack of originality. Every song is a crusher, with lyrics painting grisly images of death and wickedness backed by bone crushing, morbid riffs (with a dash of old hardcore punk thrown in at places, befitting the band’s background). Also, the song writing is varied enough so the whole album sounds fresh throughout, and never becomes uninteresting. And I must say, the production on this album is phenomenal; it’s raw, dirty and heavy, with enough clarity to hear everything that’s going on—exactly how this kind of music should sound.
In short, if you consider yourself a fan of old school death metal (especially of the stuff that came out of Sweden), you can’t go wrong with Ghouls of the Endless Night.