Undergang - Døden Læger Alle Sår
Dark Descent Records
Death Metal
10 songs (51:01)
Release year: 2015
Official Label Bandcamp
Reviewed by Goat

'Sewer death metal' is how Danish trio Undergang refer to their sound, and it's hugely appropriate. The band's third album, Døden læger alle sår translates as 'death heals all wounds', and together with the stark yet grisly cover art suggest the rotten sound of death metal at its most atmospherically horrific. This is the closest to decomposing zombie metal that I've heard in a while, ranking up there with early Obituary at moments. The rumbling guitars are like clouds of flies, the drums are like squelching meat mallets, the vocals are an unearthly death burp – it's about as close to goregrind as you can get without actually being goregrind, and all the more effective for its slower pace and better use of dynamics.

Which isn't saying much if you compare Undergang to other, more modern and shiny-sounding death metal bands, of course – even the cavernous likes of Desolate Shrine have an esoteric air altogether different to this very earthy sound. Tracks such as Jomfrublodbad have an uneasy, bassy rumble that stumbles towards you at a shuffling pace, working with the crusty rhythm section extremely well. That crust influence comes to the fore in the following Kronisk betændelse i tarmene ('chronic inflammation of the intestines' – the vocal gasps and retches on the track are horrifically fitting) and the surprisingly infectious Ad Ligbitum, as unhealthily catchy as old-school death metal can be.

There's little experimentation, although you can't deny the grim power of the doomy Lemlæstelsens Kunst, a near-funeral doom dirge that shudders into life as it gets faster and faster, like a dormant ghoul coming to life and chasing the unwary listener. It's an album highlight, and given I'm an Asphyx fanboy I obviously want to hear the band pursue this strain of their musical DNA further – aside from closing seven-minuter Det gør kun ondt til du dør, which trades tempos similarly and goes as far as featuring a lengthy (and admittedly awesome) guest solo from Autopsy's Eric Cutler, the rest of the album goes back over similar territory. And this formula doesn't always work as well as it should, fifty minutes of this being at least twenty minutes too much for me. Yet there's nothing actually wrong with it, and fans of murky death metal that sounds literally like it was made underground will get a lot of enjoyment from this.

Killing Songs :
Jomfrublodbad, Ad Ligbitum, Lemlæstelsens Kunst
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Undergang that we have reviewed:
Undergang - Til Døden os Skiller reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
Undergang - Indhentet af Døden reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:42 am
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