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Hard Force Magazine 15 by Mat. For sure, Entombed 's previous albums, Left Hand Path and Clandestine , were excellent, among the finest death metal efforts of their time, but their stylistic trappings were well evident. The growled vocals, breakneck tempo shifts, and amorphous song structures, to cite a few key characteristics, were fairly inaccessible to the type of mainstream metal listener who would consider Metallica or Pantera extreme.
Wolverine Blues , on the other hand, is that rare album brutal enough for the death metal crowd yet at the same time accessible enough for the metal mainstream.
Likewise, the guitars of Uffe Cederlund and Alex Hellid riff along at a steady tempo, but they're so heavy, they cut like a buzzsaw as on "Heavens Die" and pummel away like a jackhammer "Demon". Along with the drumming of Nicke Andersson , which is hard-hitting yet never to the point of blastbeat, it's the songwriting of Wolverine Blues that is most removed from the confines of death metal. These are especially distinctive songs by Entombed , every single one each unique in its own way and graced with a memorable hook, particularly the album standouts "Wolverine Blues," "Hollowman," and "Out of Hand.
Searing grooves into chugs, and then the break ushers in a forceful, unforgettable grind riff As good of an opener as the track is, "Rotten Soil" matches it fist for fist, with a primal thundering rock fury that translates from its verse grooves to the that amazing riff at , right before the warlike breakdown. The punk rhythms later in the track are likewise phenomenal, and at one point the band clearly has not forgotten the death metal that got them here.
Same choppy, lowdown riffing grit, and the track really subsists off the big blues groove guitar at about the mark. What follows is perhaps my favorite track on the album, the super-grooves of "Demon", which simply crush below the vocals. In one of Petrov's more memorable recordings, his voice taunts off itself like a petrified parishioner trying to warn his townsfolk of some oncoming evil. I admit, when I first heard this song I was about ready to grab a torch and pitchfork and lose my mind, and the series of crushing thrash rhythms that remain are all brilliantly executed, including the leering lead.
I don't think 'death'n'roll' gets much better than this one. Speaking of grunge, the next track "Blood Song" is a vile morass of filth which stalks like some hillbilly vampire from True Blood, with a lyrical delivery that borders on both hilarious and frightening, or at the least very convincing.
The shift into the thunder-punk is delicious, with some harrowing leads that feel being drunk off vitae and ready to kill. After this, the album actually trails off a little. The rock riff in the verse for "Heavens Die" burns with a lot of soul, and there's another little basic punk rhythm in there over which the guitars launch into a psychotropic lead, but again, just not a favorite.
That being said, both of these tracks are superior to the bonus track "Out of Hand", which is included with some versions of the album, and not all memorable. Wolverine Blues may be the London bridge between the band's creative impetus, expanding senses and the sullen heap of mediocrity they would next produce To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth within three years, but it certainly has few flaws of its own, and remains one of the band's better albums today. The influences that poked their heads through the ominous awnings of Clandestine are extracted and given new life to flit about and write themselves into the core songwriting, and the result was far more refreshing than the majority of death metal being produced in Entombed continued to prove here that they were innovators rather than simply followers.
It's just unfortunate that same motivation wound up steering them into such a sinkhole later. I was one of those people who stuck to early Entombed, as I loved their Swedeath but was very suspicious of the songs I heard from later efforts. Post-"Clandestine" they appeared to have taken a nasty turn, perhaps down a right-hand path, into commercialized and uninspired rock and roll.
I just wasn't hearing much of the aggression and individuality that made my head bang to "Supposed to Rot" or "Black Breath. Someone who doesn't listen to much heavy shit might think this is just regular old death metal, but the drums give it away. The blasting and double bass beatings show up infrequently if at all, replaced by a rock and roll beat.
But have no fear, this is still very meanspirited. The guitars still have that Sunlight sound, Petrov is his usual all-over-the-place bellowing self, and the band as a whole are still great songwriters.Wolverine Blues guitar tab by Entombed with free online tab player. One accurate version. Recommended by The Wall Street Journal.