Under the Church – Rabid Armageddon (Pulverised Records)

Genre: Death Metal

If the latest Grave and Entombed A.D. albums have left you a little frustrated – and in need of some real, down and dirty Swedish death metal – then look no further than Rabid Armageddon.

Opener Sodomy And Blasphemy sets the grisly tone and it’s swiftly followed by the title track, which more than lives up to its name. This is full fat Swedeath, make no mistake, and sounds like it could have been recorded in 1991 – perhaps that’s no surprise though, as Under the Church boast Erik Qvick and Lars Henriksson of Nirvana 2002 fame in their ranks.

That band may have only been active for a few years, but they were part of the embryonic scene that spawned Entombed, Dismember et al… and Rabid Armageddon shows that Ovick and Henriksson – on bass and drums/guitars respectively – have plenty of hellfire left in their bellies.

The album’s slower passages (such as that found on Penance) can come across as an uninspiring dirge, but when the trio let fly they do so in some style – closer The Trail of Cthulu for instance, signs off in particularly gruesome fashion, showering the listener with savage riffs.

At its best, this opus reminds us of why Swedish DM was so exciting in the first place… and in a world awash with acts stamping on HM-2 distortion pedals, that’s some achievement.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Apocalypse Now