Swordmaster - _Deathraider_
(Osmose, 1998)
by: Alvin Wee (8.5 out of 10)
Followers of Swordmaster since their obscure debut EP _Wraths of Time_ have come to expect a unique intensity and melody from their material, which has since evolved from ultra-fast black metal to retro-thrash in the space of just two releases. This MCD takes the thrash concept to a new level, adding to the somewhat pedestrian _Postmortem Tales_ a noticeable amount of flair and melody. To say that tracks like "Deathrider 2000" and "Necronaut Psychout" are stunningly original would be an overstatement, but it's undeniable that Swordmaster do possess a certain character to call their own. From the mega-brutal death rumblings of "Iron Corpse" to the hummable riffage on "Necronaut Psychout", these boys deliver an amazing punch with impeccable musicianship and remarkable tightness that makes one wonder what mayhem this bunch could wreak on stage. The unexpected brutality of the total death metal "Iron Corpse" doesn't seem out of place, providing instead a welcome addition to an otherwise dangerously single-faceted affair (which _Postmortem Tales_ sadly turned out to be). Even more interesting is the bonus cover of The Aliens' "Stand for the Fire Demon". Rather than being a weak parody or fun-session the way most covers turn out, this last track very much steals the show with its atmospheric, melodic riffing, impassioned vocals and a solo that'll leave any true metal fan speechless. All in all, _Deathraider_ is a welcome reassurance for those disappointed by the mediocrity of _Postmortem Tales_, and serves to remind us that Swordmaster is possibly the most intense, and certainly still one of the best bands in Sweden today.

(article published 14/3/1999)

1/15/2000 P Schwarz 7.5 Swordmaster - Moribund Transgoria
8/12/1997 A Wasylyk 7 Swordmaster - Postmortem Tales
2/5/1997 P Schwarz Dark Tranquillity / Enslaved / Bewitched / Swordmaster / Demoniac / Dellamorte We Must Dominate, We Will Dominate
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