Entombed - _Morning Star_
(Music for Nations, 2001)
by: Matthias Noll (8 out of 10)
"Why wait for another mediocre Slayer record?" -- this must have been Entombed's motto while writing some of the songs for _Morning Star_. Overall, this record if far less noisy, Motorhead etc. influenced death rock than anything Entombed have released since _Wolverine Blues_. Listening to some of the obvious Slayer worship that happens during songs like "About to Die", this is probably more metal in a traditional sense than anything Entombed have ever done. Sound-wise, the laws of heavy metal are strictly followed as well, and _Morning Star_ features the most professional production of any Entombed album so far. Entombed's latest sounds absolutely killer: broad, loud and crisp, metallic and with increased clarity and depth in comparison to _Uprising_ and _To Ride..._ -- and fortunately the overall heaviness is not compromised. The record starts brilliantly with the pumping, anthemic "Chief Rebel Angel", with a dramatic background choir section underneath the chorus, and continues with the crushing "I For an Eye", where the second, faster half showcases the first bit of Slayer-style riffing on the album. "Bringer of Light" is slightly less powerful and followed by the almost thrashy "Ensemble of the Restless", which may well be the fastest track Entombed have ever recorded. From there on, unfortunately, it's a rollercoaster ride between good, heavily Slayer influenced tracks, and a couple of far less impressive, almost boring numbers -- like the abysmal "Out of Heaven", which must be the lamest Entombed track ever recorded. While Entombed have reached a late metallic peak, the quality of the songwriting is inconsistent on this record. If everything on _Morning Star_ was on the same level as the killer songs, it would be a 9 out of 10 or even better. The fact that three out the of twelve songs are average at best in comparison to the rest is a shame. Nevertheless, this is a record with a good number of severely crushing highlights, and for those who started to dislike Entombed after _Wolverine Blues_, this might come as a nice surprise and a highly recommended purchase. Others, like me, who enjoyed everything they did except _Same Difference_, will get and love it anyhow.

(article published 19/10/2001)

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