[Album Review] Swedish Death Metal Act Avlivad Strikes First And Hard with Debut Demo

From “the ugliest side of Gothenburg” comes Avlivad, a four-piece death metal band rooted in the great European extreme metal traditions. Featuring Ensnared drummer J.K., this act looks to rip and tear like no others before them, and do so with sinister grins plastered on their faces. As such, their first self-titled demo is set for release on Black Friday, a fitting date for this blackened death metal outfit to unleash their first assault on the world.

First on the docket is “Moldy Pinnacles,” with a concussive snare and loads of great guitar work, whether employing the octave riffs that populate black metal or singing leads and shredding over the slurred lines of the breakdown. For music so vile, so blasphemous, it sounds smooth and clean with some solid production values on display. “Voracity” is blast beat city, bitch, with a blistering pace and violent guitar work. The climbing dual guitar harmonies make for a delightfully dizzying listen, invoking memories of early Slayer and Death. As gruesome as the fare is here, there’s a melodicism that shines through the bile, a service with a smile, even if that smile needs to wipe its chin.

“Obituary Collector” has some fun lead guitar lines to start off, all the while boasting a menacing power and poise. J.K. offers a master class in blast beats here, employing no less than three or four different variations on the technique that put death metal on the map. The first guitar solo sounds properly hellish and otherworldly, while the second lead break offers a bit more flash than its predecessor. For a grand finale, we have “And You’ll See Me,” with vocals from L.O. offering a bit more snarl than in the previous three tracks. On that topic, the vocals feel like they were recorded in a cavern somewhere in the mountains, but when we’re talking about death metal, that’s not a bad thing. The galloping triplets make for a fist-pumping, heart-thumping section with a healthy lead guitar lick over top. The last section adds a delay pedal that sees the track, and the demo as a whole, out with a decrescendo into the mouth of Hell.

For a first impression, Avlivad has made a strong one. Their take on death metal is eerily melodic and unflinchingly violent. This demo sounds like a winner to me, and hopefully will result in further success for this Gothenburg gore group.

Avlivad’s Demo MMXX is set to be released on November 27th via Invictus Productions.