Lik - Misanthropic Breed
Metal Blade
Death Metal
11 songs (39:31)
Release year: 2020
Metal Blade
Reviewed by Goat

Death metal from Sweden? With guitars that sound like chainsaws? Whatever will they think of next? Sure, we've all heard it before, yet like the best cover songs that faithfully reproduce much-loved classics in new tones, sometimes the pleasure is in the shared knowledge and experience. And Swedish revivalists Lik ('corpse' in Swedish) are here to rock your world with a new take on obvious and revered early Dismember and Entombed sounds, with a touch of thrash and punk to spice the formula. And of course Misanthropic Breed is just as good as you'd expect such a promising mixture to be, helped significantly by its members songwriting experience - this is their third full-length since 2015, and Lik shares members with such notables as Witchery (drummer Christofer Barkensjö) and Katatonia (bassist Niklas Sundin). Short, snappy songs that rarely stretch beyond the four minute mark and include plenty of infectious hooks including just enough Maiden-esque lead guitar without actually dipping into melodic death territory result in even more reason to select Lik over the numerous Swedish HM2/Sunlight Studios wannabes.

Yes, Misanthropic Breed is an undeniable blast, a joyous good time for those of us that appreciate a good bass tone and obscure Italian horror references. The grimy zombie cover art is as much a signpost of quality as the atmosphere-drenched likes of Female Fatal to the Flesh, indulging in just enough doom-death groove to hammer the filth home beneath Cannibal Corpsean battering, with an uncharacteristically comedic wink to the listener aware of their death metal references. And little touches like the title track being a brief burst of atmospheric interludeage that doesn't suck copious rotten flesh, not to mention more melodic fare like the closing Becoming? It all balances the galloping brutality of, say, Flesh Frenzy out well, not to mention album highlight Morbid Fascination which adds a hefty dose of Carcass/early Arch Enemy to the mix to result in a rabidly catchy track which balances crushing riffs with a vocal performance that goes for the throat and plenty of widdly soloing to excellent results - it's the kind of simple yet effective death metal banger that sticks in the head and converts errant power metal flower children without a second thought.

There are many reasons to mourn the departure of such icons as Dismember, a loss to time that will only become more frequent as our still relatively young genre and its craftsmen age. Yet acts like this, that continue in their footsteps respectfully and convincingly, ensure that the future is bright, and as much fun as the "twenty minute prog/death songs about aliens" acts that currently seem to be en vogue in the scene are, Lik are a welcome reminder that sometimes death metal is about a solid riff and a hook that would do less damage to your neck if it was embedded in it. As diverse and varied a listen as a medium-rare steak but equally as tasty, Misanthropic Breed is a death metal delight.

Killing Songs :
Decay, Female Fatal to the Flesh, Morbid Fascination, Becoming
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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