This Swedish band has progressed nicely since their 2011 album, Church of Death. While I enjoyed that album it was not overly memorable or something I placed into heavy listening rotation. Church of Death, was more in the vein of prototypical old school Swedish death metal: fuzzy guitars, pounding rhythms, the whole nine yards.
With Relics of Sulphur Salvation, their 3rd full length album, all of that is about to change. Standing tall as one of the better albums of 2014 (so far), everything on this album screams of a band maturing, progressing and hitting their stride. The production is much more professional. The musicianship is better and the song writing more thought out and memorable. They are still a Swedish death metal band, but with the added black aesthetics of fellow countryman Unanimated and the underpinnings of Dissection. Ironically enough the band is neither influenced by or listens to these bands. Go figure. Chalk that one up to something in Sweden's water supply.
What they have been able to accomplish here is something that Lantern (Finland) did last year with their album, Below (though these bands sound nothing alike). By mixing and old school sound and merging it with a modern day feel, Vanhelgd have created something they can call their own.
The lead track, "Dödens Maskätna Anlete", hooks you in immediately and sets the pace for the remainder of the album. It's a perfect example of what to expect: heavy, melodic, evil, and just catchy as all hell. Over its 41 minute run time, it never lets go and holds up after repeated listens. It's one of those albums where each song has it's "moment" that you can point to and say "oh, I love this riff" or "this part feels so awesome." A must BUY for you and a band that hopefully gets its "due".
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]