Entombed A.D. – Bowels of Earth (Century Media)

When frontman LG Petrov launched Entombed A.D. in 2014, the result – Back To The Front – was slightly lacklustre compared to anything unleashed by the ‘original’ Entombed. 2016’s Dead Dawn, however, was a different story, a triumph of old school death, a scorching barrage of HM-2 hellfire (check out Midas In Reverse if you want exhibit A).

Thankfully, Bowels of Earth continues in a similar vein as its predecessor. OK, it fails to better Dead Dawn in the song writing stakes, but this line-up (now minus bassist Victor Brandt but boasting live guitarist Guilherme Miranda) has birthed a 10-headed, snarling beast of a DM record, where groove and all out attack vie for supremacy.

Worlds Apart, for instance, is a savage frontal assault, blending raw power with dramatic melodic leadwork for extra gravitas, while Bourbon Nightmare sounds like Motörhead-style biker rock played by a Southern dive bar band who’ve just discovered Wolverine Blues. Slow-paced closer Eternal Night creeps its way into your darkest thoughts, Hell Is My Home is anchored by a rousing chorus, delivered with all of Petrov’s might, and the title track has you greedily biting into a deliciously sinewy riff.

Loyal Entombed acolytes will hear echoes of Clandestine in songs such as Fit For A King. And that’s just fine. But perhaps it’s unfair to keep making the comparison with Petrov and Nico Elgstrand’s previous band – and instead judge Entombed A.D. on their own merits. Three albums in, they are conjuring dynamic, instinctive DM with an intelligent touch – something which separates them from newer bands who sacrifice songcraft on the altar of HM-2 worship. They deserve a hell of a lot of respect for it.