Published Feb 26, 2016It's just the worst being an Entombed fan. The band have always been super confusing, but now there are two Entombeds out there, which brings them down to the level of metal bands who tarnish their reputations faster than you can say "Oliver/Dawson Saxon." (Or, wait, is Entombed not-A.D. even functioning right now? Who knows.)
Anyway, Entombed A.D., who really should have taken the high road and given themselves a different name, are back with a second album; their debut, 2014's Back to the Front, was a capable yet hard-to-love affair, the vocals of LG Petrov always awesome but the overall feeling somehow distant and separated, even when the death metal was rocking and raging hard enough. Maybe it's a mental barrier, which I fully chalk up to that bad band name and all that comes with it.
Here, songs like "The Winner Has Lost" rock like the best of Swedeath, with some great '80s hard-rock riffing that's weird but wonderful; "Hubris Fall" has the haunting melodies that made classic Entombed so great; closer "Not What It Seems" ends the album off wonderfully with a slower Hail of Bullets-ish death crawl. So the tunes are good, and the legacy is there, but bands need to stop doing this told-you-so stuff with the band naming and public airing of private drama; it just leaves a bitter, sad taste in the listener's mouth throughout what is otherwise a good enough death metal experience. (Century Media)