Personnel: Pontus Samuelsson (vocals, guitar); Adde Mitroulis (vocals, drums); Jocke Svensson (vocals); Jimmy Lundqvist (guitar).
Audio Mixer: Dan Swanö.
Recording information: Bloodshed Studios (12/2014-01/2015).
Photographers: Heike Riese; Asa Hagström; Stefan Graesslin; Kapten Joffe.
The Swedish death metal veterans' second outing for Metal Blade begins appropriately with the lyric "Burning churches, down to ashes," and what follows is a textbook course in no-frills '90s Scandinavian death metal that should please fans of non-greasepaint-smeared genre heavies like Death, Entombed, and Grave. As per usual, Entrails feel no compulsion to stir up the hornet's nest (stylistically speaking), as their particular brand of extreme metal is venomous enough, and at a cool and concise ten tracks and 41 minutes, Obliteration is as economical as it is unrelentingly malevolent. Preferring might over melody, Entrails hit hard and fast from the very first note, pausing only for the occasional dark breath (the exquisitely putrid "Epitome of Death" manages to shoehorn in a brief Frédéric Chopin interlude), and when the band is firing on all cylinders, as is the case with blast furnace-forged black gems like "No Cross Left Unturned" and "Bonestorm," it's hard not to get a little nostalgic for the genre's heyday. That said, there's not a lot here that sets the band apart from their old-school contemporaries. Since their return in 2008 (they've been around since 1991) Entrails have been unabashedly honest about their allegiance to the old school, describing Obliteration as a ten-track set of "death metal and nothing else," and on that notion, they most certainly deliver. ~ James Christopher Monger