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Uprising was intended as a return to form by Entombed, make no mistake, and fortunately it succeeds on all counts. Recorded on a minuscule budget with producer Nico Elgstrand over the course of only 18 days, Uprising was an attempt to recapture the rawness of Entombed's earliest -- and most acclaimed -- work. The second song, "Say It in Slugs," even goes so far as to reprise the guitar riff of "Left Hand Path," the title track of Entombed's 1990 debut album. The band needed a return to form at this point in time. Their previous album, Same Difference (1999), had been a debacle, and while the album before that, To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth (1997), was satisfactory in musical terms, if not quite up to par with its excellent predecessor, Wolverine Blues (1993), it too was a debacle in the sense that its release was long delayed because of label problems. And so it's understandable why Entombed wanted to revisit their roots, not only for the sake of their fan base, but for themselves as well. As aforementioned, Uprising is a return to the rawness of Entombed's early work, when they were performing genuine death metal. Granted, this music isn't exactly death metal, at least not in the way that Left Hand Path (1990) and Clandestine (1991) were -- for one, the vocals aren't growled but rather yelled, and too, the tempos never quite reach the point where they become a breakneck blur of grinding guitar riffs and blastbeat drumming -- but it's awfully close and, regardless, it's brutal. The songwriting is the only drawback on Uprising: whereas the musical performance and production are commendable, some of the songs are indistinct from one another, particularly during the latter-half of the album. One of the highlights, after all, is a cover (Dead Horse's "Scottish Hell"), while another is the aforementioned remake of "Left Hand Path" ("Say It in Slugs"). The departure of drummer Nicke Andersson in 1997 left a major songwriting void in the band; guitarist Uffe Cederlund assumed his position as songwriter, and while his songs are musically remarkable, as is well evident here on Uprising, they lack memorable hooks, which is why so many of these songs sound similar to one another (and perhaps why the guitars are so high in the mix relative to the vocals, which are difficult to decipher as a result). Minor drawbacks aside, Uprising is a strong effort by Entombed to regain their footing after losing it in the wake of Wolverine Blues. It's a step in the right direction, no doubt, even if it doesn't quite measure up to the excellence of the band's early work. [The Threeman Recordings version of the album released in the U.S. contains three bonus tracks -- "Superior," "The Only Words," and "Words" -- recorded in June 2000.]

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