Lucifer Rising

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If one were to write a book about all the Scandinavian death metal and black metal bands that were formed in the '90s, it would be a very long book. Countless death metal and black metal bands were formed in the early to mid-'90s -- and in the late '90s, Scandinavia's death metal/black metal field became even more crowded (some would say overcrowded). One of the many death metal bands that came out of Sweden during the latter part of the '90s was Kaamos, whose second album, Lucifer Rising, favors the go-for-the-jugular approach that death metal is known for. From the occult-minded lyrics to the abundance of ultra-fast tempos to the deep, guttural, growling vocals, this 2005 release is stereotypical Nordic death metal. The material isn't grindcore; Kaamos has too many tempo changes to be considered grindcore. But the Swedes do love to play fast much of the time, and Lucifer Rising has more than its share of mosh pit-friendly parts. What this CD doesn't have is a melodic outlook; in contrast to At the Gates, In Flames, and other Scandinavian bands that are classified as melodic death metal, Kaamos' material is primarily an exercise in brutality for the sake of brutality. But despite their limitations and predictability, Kaamos still deserve some credit for being good at what they do. Lucifer Rising doesn't add anything new or different to death metal -- Kaamos is hardly the most original band in the world -- but no one can accuse them of sounding unfocused or uninspired. Kaamos play their sledgehammer tunes with conviction, and those who don't expect a lot of melody or intricacy from death metal will find this 37-minute CD to be a decent, if derivative, footnote in the Nordic extreme metal scene.

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