The third full-length by Sweden's Demonical stays pretty close to the formula of their previous two outings: classic death metal. It's basic with Johan Jansson's buzzed-out guitars riffing interminably, Martin Schulman's distorted bass throb playing only the changes, and drummer Ronnie Bergerståhl's midtempo drums charging right through the mix with just enough blastbeat frenzy to make Death Infernal a de rigueur death metal album. Hardcore fans of the genre seem to like very little in the way of progression in this music the way fans of doom or black metal do. Sverker Widgren's lead vocals are pure throat growl, as if he's about to cough up a lung; his lyrics are dark, snarling, and worship all that is sinister, satanic, or necrophilically evil. That said, few of the set's tracks stand out. This is not necessarily a bad thing and there are, if one listens closely enough, compelling moments that stand apart. "Ravenous" has a subtle counterpoint melody in the guitar lines placed deliberately underneath the insane power riffing in the body of the tune, and Bergerståhl's absolutely grooving blastbeats charge like mad from start to finish; the solo guitar break that lasts all of ten seconds is one of the most unhinged moments here. "All Will Perish (The Final Liberation)," a slower jam, features a crushing body of chords somewhat offset by a sub-melody played in the body of the riff -- you can miss it if you're not paying attention. "Slain Warriors" is notable for its sheer physicality, and not unlike the hard-edged, gut-pummeling crunch of Amon Amarth at their most aggressive. One major complaint is that the American edition of Death Infernal lacks one of the import version's best tracks: a grooved-out cover of Emperor's "Night of Graveless Souls," which is truly worth seeking out. For fans of Demonical, you know exactly what you're getting with Death Infernal -- it's an album purely designed for the mosh pit. For those who long for the malevolent, sometimes monotonous, purity of classic death metal, this is for you too.
(LP - Agonia Records #ARLP 205V1)