Entombed A.D. – Dead Dawn (Century Media)

Genre: Death Metal

We’d waited seven years for the reinvented Entombed (tagged with an ‘A.D.’) to follow up 2007’s Serpent Saints – The Ten Amendments. However, their first album without founding guitarist Alex Hellid was a rather lacklustre affair: 2014’s Back To The Front lacked the spirit of ‘classic’ Entombed and even the mammoth, heavily distorted guitar sound associated with the Swedes was neutered.

Dead Dawn, though, sees L-G Petrov and co. make up for lost time with an opus that would sit comfortably alongside some of Entombed’s best work. It’s no Left Hand Path or Wolverine Blues, but it is a mighty slab of Swedish death metal, and an album which puts paid to the idea that this band (in whatever incarnation they may be) are a spent force. Silent Assassin is a defiant head-splitter of a tune that could easily have found its way on to 1997’s To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak The Truth, while the blistering title track boasts the addictive, crush ‘n’ groove riffery of Clandestine. There’s even room for some creepy, atmospheric noodling (Hubris Fall) and a punky, Motörhead-inspired rampage (Total Death).

Make no mistake, Entombed A.D. have unleashed an album that flies the flag high for Swedish DM – and will have many ‘tombed-a-likes running scared. After the fracture caused by Hellid’s departure and a mediocre come-back two years ago, the sheer quality of this release comes as a bit of a surprise – but it’s certainly a welcome one.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Dawn Of A New Era