Black Juju

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Few metal bands underwent a more radical evolution in the 1990s than Entombed, who entered the decade as an amelodic, high-speed death metal/ thrash/grindcore band, but who evolved into a slower, more accessible outfit with Metallica leanings and a strong appreciation of Motorhead. While singer Lars-Goran Petrov once favored the type of choked, grunting vocals for which grindcore is known, he is easy to understand on 1998's Black Juju. And while the Entombed of the late 1980s/early 1990s appealed primarily to the Deicide/Cannibal Corpse/Carcass crowd, Black Juju is far from grindcore; it contains honest-to-God song structures. But if you think that Black Juju is comparable to a Bon Jovi album, think again. While the riffs on this CD are much slower than what you'd find on 1989's Left-Hand Path, the Swedish headbangers are still ferocious and brutally heavy. "Satan," "Ballad of Hollis Brown," "Sentimental Funeral," and other gems should make it easier for Entombed to attract fans of mainstream metal, but regardless, make no mistake -- the band is still bonecrushing. Black Juju is not only the most accessible album that Entombed recorded in the 1990s -- it's also the band's strongest and most captivating.

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