As You Drown - _Reflection_
(Metal Blade Records, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (7 out of 10)
Hailing from Sweden and suffering no shortage of honest to goodness chutzpah, the first tracks on their Metal Blade debut make a riveting case for _Reflection_ being one of the most stirring death metal releases of the year. Yes, their moniker may be devoid of -"ion" and conjure images of geeky teens rocking out core-style, but these boys play a death metal that would make any Azagtoth worshipping zealot smile from ear to ear.

In the same way that New Zealand's Ulcerate managed to pummel their brand of extremity into our subconscious by understated, yet highly effective twists on virtually patented formulae, the likes of "Ruins & Dead Ends" and "Horns" come close to bettering a similar premise -- thanks, at least in part, to Christian Silver's phenomenal job at the mixing desk. Trouble is, they dip into the same well a little too often, and blisteringly effective as it may have been earlier on, much of the album's second act speeds by in a faceless blur. Then again, maybe I'm just one of those sad old farts, who prefer to enjoy albums end-to-end, as opposed to the bite-size approach taken by the majority of the iPod generation. Either way, this is a first-rate introduction to a band I expect to hear much more from in the future.


(article published 4/1/2010)

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