|Review: Severe Torture - Sworn Vengeance|
Label: Earache Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: December 31, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Severe Torture's 4th studio album (their 2nd for Earache) sees them move further away from their early Cannibal Corpse clone days into a darker, more intense Death Metal landscape. Long gone are the days of gory 'shock' artwork, 'Sworn Vengeance' sees these Dutch deathsters hit a new level of creativity, with a sound similar to what you'd imagine that of a cross-breed of Decapitated, Vader and the more commercial end of the Morbid Angel spectrum to sound like.
The opening punch of 'Dismal Perception' sees the bands' newly acquired Polish/US hybrid Death Metal hit the spot nicely straight off. With a good spattering of brutality and technicality mixed into the riffage, there's also a greater usage of melody-laced solos to be found when compared to their previous releases, as well as the occasional slower, almost thrashy riffs that are set subtly into most of the tracks on the album. However, it is the brutal side of things that reigns supreme here more often than not, with the guttural vocal work raging over the vicious attack of blasting guitars, frenetic drumming and rumbling bass all gelling together perfectly, allowing 'Sworn Vengeance' to glow with an impressive and highly professional hue. Closing the album off with an instrumental track (which actually reprises the opening strains of the album) is a fitting end to a thoroughly enjoyable release. It's worth noting that the limited version also has two extra tracks tacked onto the end (one being a Cro-Mags cover, the other being a cover of Entombed), though this is seemingly for the ardent Severe Torture collectors only, adding nothing to the album as a whole.
This is well worth looking into for fans of the aforementioned Vader and Decapitated in particular. 'Sworn Vengeance' is evidence that Severe Torture has not only improved once again, but they've also managed to create their most impressive album to date. Good stuff.
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