Nine Killing Angels

In light of Converge frontman and Deathwish, Inc. label head Jacob Bannon’s professed love for Entombed, Deathwish’s signing of a more "death’n’roll-ish outfit is understandable. This, however, is pushing the envelope. Nine have almost exactly replicated the sound of Wolverine Blues-era Entombed, right down to the poorly translated lyrics. The tempo rarely shifts from a solid walking pace, minus an insignificant number of vaguely tough-guy inspired up-tempo mosh and the misplaced emo back-ups of "Anxiety Report.” The aforementioned track struggles for air amongst the monotony, and succeeds only in unintentionally lightening up the proceedings until the disc’s crowning moment — a guest appearance by none other than Entombed’s L.G. Petrov on album closer, "Them.” The variation between vocalist Johan Lindqvist and Petrov briefly shakes the listener awake, yet, to their dismay, the album is over. The more than likely deliberate and tongue-in-cheek — yet still kind of lame — homage to "Left Hand Path” that is "Them” is also worth a mention. A respectable attempt from Deathwish at diversifying what is considered ‘hardcore’ (all all-too-sketchy term in recent days), but one that could have been presented by a more dynamic candidate. (Deathwish Inc.)