Ensnared - Ravenous Damnation's Dawn
Nuclear Winter
Occult Death Metal
6 songs ()
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Alex

Swedish Ensnared has lurked in the murky Swedish death metal underground as Gravehammer before, but this EP is their very first sizeable release under the new (and excellent) moniker.

Perhaps, it would be logical to start reviewing this EP from the end, from the pair of closing bonus tracks Fields of Resurrection and Baneful Blood, two tracks which made it onto EP from the original demo based on which Nuclear Winter Records got Ensnared signed. Different in style, at least a little bit, from the rest of the material on the eponymous EP, these songs, especially Fields of Resurrection present full-on blasting chaotic attack, even if snares do sound like an upside down buckets. Of these two earlier works I actually like Baneful Blood more, as it catches that orgasmic grinding rhythm which is almost danceable, yet totally keeps the death metal spirit.

The other songs on the EP, however, progress further from the primitive Swedish death metal and fuse it with American black/death occult metal, taking a slight resemblance with Morbid Angel. With Roots Below keep on adding warmongering and belligerence in their riffs, but showcase subtleties in the melodic inflection, both pleasant and totally unexpected, especially if you listen to the EP backward, starting with the historically earlier compositions. Kimiya Ye Al Molekhat thrashes and grinds with its stepped up, more pronounced double bass, but even the title itself hints at some poisonous fluid being spilled.

It is the cuts like the opening Adorations (also from the original demo) and The Hungry Darkness of Death, which hint at Ensnared maximum potential. Blasting and speedy grindcore and all, Adorations finds room to slow down, bring forward the prominent basslines and see the Ensnared grinders go all dreamy 70s on us. The Hungry Darkness of Death is so many things rolled into one. The detuned cleaner guitar in the opening is plain creepy, and gloomy melody is punctuated with apocalyptic bells.

Not overproduced, with the vocals of dry snarls, the EP does not try to emulate some passed on Swedish heroes like Entombed, but tries to carve out an (occult) niche to itself, hoping to avoid all compromises in the process. If you do not need an absolute buzzsaw guitar in your Swedish death metal and instead want more clearly defined woven riffs, this could be an interesting one to check out.

Killing Songs :
Adorations, The Hungry Darkness of Death
Alex quoted 69 / 100
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