Swordmaster - _Moribund Transgoria_
by: Paul Schwarz (
Swordmaster have improved their production, playing and songwriting since last I heard from them on 1997's _Postmortem Tales_. This time out the vocals are less restrained, having not been pushed unceremoniously behind a wall of distortion and all-too-regular percussion. Additionally, _Moribund Transgoria_'s melodic flirtations are far more convincing and with the production's clarity these sections help to make _Moribund Transgoria_ a far more dynamic record than its predecessor. However, there is still a residual lack of originality in most of my favourite bits (the melodic Dissection lead on "Sulphur Skelethrones" is a particular anti-highlight in this sense) and in any case Swordmaster still display an overall lack of brilliance in terms of songwriting. They do their post-thrash/death/black thing very competently and with significantly more style than most, but there are other acts doing very similar things, and doing them at least a little better. On the other hand, it's the best release featuring Niklas "Terror" Rudolfson which I have yet heard.
(article published 1/15/2000)
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