Resurrection in Blood

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Runemagick's third album in three years sees them doing with death/doom metal what AC/DC did with hard rock and the Ramones did with punk: steadfastly (and perhaps stubbornly) working within a specific, simple, but effective sonic formula that usually polarizes listeners into unimpressed, "one-trick-pony" accusers, or appreciative supporters who value the band's stick-to-it-ness at what they're good at. Consider that "great at," if untainted, unembellished, analog-minded death metal happens to turn you on; because it's not like virtuosity is even an option given the unspectacular abilities of band mastermind and chief songwriter Nicklas Rudolfsson, who handles most all of the instrumentation, and only brings in lead guitarist Fredrik Johnsson to spruce up the results. This, again, may lead to some questioning raised eyebrows, but it's always been the Runemagick M.O., and so the pressure of success is squarely focused on the likeability of the music, instead of the florid technicality employed by many other death metal acts. Prime examples of Runemagick's unsophisticated charms include "Reborn in Necromancy," "Dark Death Earth," and "Dominion of the Necrogods," which feature aching, sullen harmonies, bruising, crust-covered riffs, and even crustier sounding vocals with denouncing lyrics as endearingly fantastical as their titles -- how metal! In fact, the appearance of very sporadic and short-lived patches of creepy synths or funeral organs (see the title track's coda and several intros and outros peppered throughout) figures as the album's biggest technological experiment. All of which means that Resurrection in Blood, like most of Runemagick's albums before and after, may seem too limited in scope for many death/doom enthusiasts, but for those inclined towards quality over quantity, it's actually reliably consistent and entertaining.