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On disc: Degradead

Til Death Do Us Apart - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Out Of Body Experience - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
A World Destroyer - Lars Bjørn - 7 stars
Live At Wacken And Beyond - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
The Monster Within - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

The Monster Within

The Monster Within
(Metalville - 2013)

Degradead present their new album The Monster Within. The line-up is almost the same, just drummer Kenneth Helgesson left and was replaced by Amit Mohla, the rest are still the original members. So it can be expected that they sound the same - more or less...

They kick off with One Against All and yes, they still play melodic death metal, but spice it up with modern metal elements. The clean vocal parts sound very melodic and due to the backings it gets a touch of modern heavy metal. A staccato riff dominates the title track, but it can surprise with a break and slow passage with whispered words - just to go full force again. Again the superb guitar work sticks out and the guitarists lead you into For Better Or Worse. For purists the songs might be the worst, but if you like some melodic elements, then you might like it.... But it's beyond the typical melodeath stuff!

The song We'll Meet Again is a powerful balladesque metal tune, but no melodeath! Personally I like it, but I can imagine that fans of the first Degradead albums will dislike it... Strive To Struggle offers some mean riffs as well as melodic guitar play, all in all it will be what fans of the early days are looking for... Personally I like the melodic clean vocals and the backings, especially at the closer Sorrow Never Survives which get flavored with some other sound elements, too, but that's me. Fans of melodic death metal who despise lots of clean vocals should give it a listen first!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Live at Wacken And Beyond

Live At Wacken And Beyond
(Metalville - 2012)

Some might think it's too early in the career for a band like Degradead to release a DVD, but as they have to Wacken show recorded it was an opportunity. Their show at Wacken was a long one, but shows the band at this stage of their career. They added a documentary where everybody in the band talked about the beginning and the guys also decided to add some sequences of live shows - no pro recordings, but they document the beginning. Sure, the sound and image quality of the shows isn't the best, but okay. Traveling through the years they talk about the different albums and important shows. But it's not just the band talking, also someone from the management, the crew, their street team. They also take you with them to India, a place most people think of when thinking about metal fans / crowds.

The whole show from Wacken 2010 is shown and if you show some recordings from Wacken you know what to expect. The band played at W.E.T. stage on and they had only time to play 6 songs - incl. the ones they did video clips for. It's a great way to get revive memories, if you attended and for everybody else to get an idea about the Degradead live.

The DVD shows the band live at a big stage which is a treat for all fans of the Swedish and to get a look behind the scenes is a good chance to know the band a bit better. Fans of Degradead shouldn't hesitate to get a copy, fans of melodic death metal might find this a cool addition to their collection. Enjoy it!

Track list:

1. A Journey from Tullinge to Hyderabad (documentary / app. 50 min.)

2. Human Nature
3. Vxr
4. Dream
5. Pass Away
6. Burned
7. Wake the Storm

8. Vxr (video clip)
9. Wake the Storm (video clip)

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


A World Destroyer

A World Destroyer
(Metalville Records - 2011)

Degradead has made it their speciality to mix musical inspirations from trash, punk, death metal, and also vary the vocal line, the very skilled vocal line by Mikael Sehlin, with normal singing and the typical growling to underline the position in death metal. If you had any doubts about where they stand, just check out the previous titles from them: Til Death Do Us Apart and the follow up album Out Of Body Experience.

The band has officially started in 2007, but has rehearsed since 2002 and also released two demos, Rest In Pieces and Death Row, but in those days the band was known as Septima.

Now comes the 3rd album from Swedish death metallers Degradead, called A World Destroyer. They continue the good style from the earlier albums and has made 10 songs that spreads the death metal genre to trash and even good old punk music. The opener Human Nature shows what great singer Sehlin is, controlled voice with so much aggression in it that you don't believe your ears, explosive guitars just to catch the fans, if they thought it was going to be boring. A False Hope is very melodic and some may find the mixing between melodic metal and deep growling quite confusing, but Degradead makes it work very good. The Final Judgment has another quality to add: severe pressure from both guitarists and here Sehlin's voice has a lesser role in the song, but a great song from them. The best one on this new record is No One Prevail. It has a hard penetrating ground rhythm and the creative construction in the song gives the genre of melodic death metal a real boost. Only thing that they are not so successful about is the ending of songs, where it just finishes abruptly, it could have been a little more elegant, but nonetheless it's a fine album from the Swedes.

7 stars

Lars Bjørn

Out Of Body Experience

Out Of Body Experience
(Dockyard 1 - 2009)

The Stockholm fiver started in 2006 and is now presenting their second album Out Of Body Experience! Seems the guys working fast... This time they recorded with Peter Tägtgren at his Abyss studio and Daniel Bergstrand mixed it at DugOut Studio.
The opener is called All Is Gone and they start full force into an aggressive tune with heavy riffs, a very melodic refrain and mean growls. In a way they stick to their chosen path, but the melodic parts get even more melodic while the heavy, aggressive parts get heavier and more aggressive. And so its the contrast which fascinates you - a good opener! Not as straight as the opener is Wake The Storm, a bit more complex and with varying guitar play this one hooks you up. At Achieve The Sky they add some folk-ish part, but its just in the background, so you might miss it... With growls and heavy riffs they kick off Everlasting Hatred. Not that fast, but with a heavy groove and melodic twin guitar parts, but then they head into an up-tempo part. They stop dead and offer a short slow passage with acoustic guitars which leads out the track. A catchy one is Depths Of Darkness which offers aggression and melodies. Again the Swedish use tempi changes and melodic guitar leads in contrast to the aggressive growls and more thrashy riffing. After the heavy groove rocker V.X.R. they speed up for Future Is Now, a thrashy track with black-ish growls and less melodic parts. An invitation to bang your head! The following Transmigration starts slowly with acoustic guitars and even if they go full force after about 90 sec. the track is an instrumental intermezzo and gives a short break between the sonic attacks. At The Burning Orchid they speed up again and the melodic hooks are back. Someone this combination reminds me of Children Of Bodom, but it's only the combination of harsh vocals, heavy riffing and melodies. So the Swedish use the same ingredients, but create something different. A thrashy attack is the fast Almost Dead, but again they change speed and add some catchy backings. One of my favorites is Illusion which didn't seem to be so different, but somehow this one hooks me up immediately. Perhaps its the brief melodic intermezzi... And the sound elements they add here... One of the tracks I recommend to check out, others are Walk The Sky, Unfortunate and Depths Of Darkness. Degradead show well that can't even keep the level of the debut Til Death Do Us Apart, they could even add some new sounds and make it even more interesting. Kudos!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt

Til Death Do Us Apart

Til Death Do Us Apart
(Dockyard 1 - 2008)

This is the debut album of the Swedish quintet Degraded and even if they are from Stockholm their musical home is more South... They are musically close to In Flames and the Gothenborg scene. The riffing shows that guitarists Anders Nyström and David Szücs are familiar with In Flames. And Degradead had the chance to record at IF Studios and so their debut was produced by H.O.R.D.E, and engineered by In Flames' Björn Gelotte with co-engineers Jesper Strömblad and Daniel Svensson. So you might ask, if they sound like In Flames and the answer is no! Sure, its the same ingredients, but the fivesome already developed their own style. Songs like Genetic Waste combine thrashy riffs and melodic death metal parts with growls and catchy hooks. On Pass Away you get a heavy groove, murderous riffs and partly a very melodic, NWoBHM-influenced guitar line. It's the combination of heaviness, groove and aggression, but also the melodic hooks which get you into the album from the first spin. Listen to Burned and you get it right away. Perhaps the best track to check the Swedish out... The Fallen starts slowly with bass and guitar, then explodes into a heavy rocker with growls and clean vocal parts. Very groovy. Slower then the previous ones, but very intense. A surprise is the last tune, the title track Til Death Do Us Apart which is an all acoustic tune! An instrumental most won't expect from this band. Well done!
To check them out, listen to: Burned, Pass Away and The Fallen.

8 stars


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