Wombbath – The Great Desolation

Any death metal fan worth his salt will know this band due to their classic “Internal Caustic Torments’ album that was released in 1993 and has now become a prized collectors item on first press CD if you are lucky enough to own one. It has been reissued however and if you haven’t heard it I strongly urge you to track it down. In recent years however the band has a slew of releases including a few splits and a full length, “Downfall Rising” out in 2015 as we now have their third full length maintaining a prolific release schedule the band seems to have at the moment.

Wombbath’s music is ugly, a befouling assault on the senses that begins with 'Embrace Death' which oozes from the speakers in thuggish grotesquery made all the more potent by the excellent production which has excellent clarity without diminishing the savagery that flows inexorably into the title track. The atmosphere on this album is foreboding at times, generated by the guitar riffs which have that aura of dread similar to how Dismember crafted theirs. The variations in speed create texture as the title track morphs from the treacle slow oppression with double kick infusions to sporadic blasting phases effortlessly.

'Born Of Filth' is one of those thrusting double bass crushers that ingrains in your head, right before it abruptly pauses for a semi acoustic piece that is steeped in atmosphere and contrasts with the buzzsaw riffing of 'Punisher Of Broken Oaths'. The intermittent blasting phases are scathing yet splattered with melody and drama especially when the song diverts away from the sonic terror for a brief section that can only be described as a slight ethereal glimmer but it is the outright bludgeoning power that makes this album such a winner for me. 'Cold Steel Salvation' is grisly, a poisonous thunderous cavalcade of grimy death metal that counterpoints cavernous vocals with higher end snarls but also accentuates those atmospheric traits I’ve hinted at previously especially with the lead work as the most ambitious track follows, 'Hail The Obscene'. This track has a doleful opening with back effects, the song has a superb dramatic aura drenched in dread before the riff break signals the change in pace. The vocals seem deeper, more guttural here taking on a far monstrous tone as the speed drops ever slower in parts into doom death realms yet harnessing that atmosphere to boundless effect especially with guitar hooks that are layered onto the track. In some respects I would like the song to have ended the album but instead the band has opted to cave our skulls in with “Harvester Of Sin” with its no nonsense riffing impaling the listener like pick axes alongside those demonic vocals which really do stand out on the album though even here those atmospheric histrionics are not far behind, lingering about like phantasms leaving you in no doubt that Wombbath’s third album is a trademark example of Swedeath.

  1. Embrace Deat
  2. The Great Desolation
  3. Footsteps Of Armageddon
  4. Born Of Filth
  5. Punisher Of Broken Oaths
  6. The Weakest Flesh
  7. Cold Steel Salvation
  8. Hail The Obscene
  9. Harvester Of Sin