De Syv Stadier Af Fordærv
Review by TheOneNeverSeen on August 28, 2023.
As a huge fan of Undergang, I was interested how their new EP would sound, for the sound of the last few releases by the band was very inconsistent and varied from the Swedish death metal-like one of Aldrig I Livet to the one close to the band’s former raw sound (Tetralogy Of Death), a mixture between the two (Hjerternes Tid, split with Anatomia) and something totally odd and not yet heard by the band's fans (the recent split with Spectral Voice). It seems like the Lego men of death metal have decided to move in the direction set by Aldrig I Livet and have their new EP's sound in the style of Dismember/Bloodbath. Considering I'm a huge fan of the atmospheric thick sound of Swedish death metal, this decision is more than welcome.
From the very first seconds of the unrelenting track 'Død' (one of the Danish words any fan of the band knows by now), one can hear a strong Dismember influence. The riff is furious and evil, followed by a sudden Mortician-like melody at 1:05 and a standard Undergang one at 2:25. Besides being immensely fun, the opening track shows the band's improvement in terms of writing short songs (aside from 'Kronisk Betændelse I Tarmene', I'm not a huge fan of their short tracks), for it manages to be both heavy and diverse in spite of its length.
The rest of the EP is consistent with the mighty breakdown of 'Mælkehvid Og Gennemsigtigt' being among the most memorable ones by the band since 'Håbet Er Ligblegt', a classic Autopsy-like somber opening of 'Livløs I En Pøl Af Egne Udskillelser' immersing the listener into the song's grim flow gradually being overtaken by a sick riff and melodic interludes like the first half of 'Dødsstivhed' certainly matching the level of songs like 'Tvangsfodret Pigtråd'. So, the music of De Syv Stadier Af Fordærv definitely matches the standards of Undergang.
In terms of the style and feeling, I can find nothing to criticise about the EP. David's Demilich-like vocals are good as always with a greater use of shrieking (the most notable example of the latter prior to this release being 'Sygelige Nydelser (Del III) Emetofili'). The drums and bass are blended excellently into the overall sound, making the production nearly flawless. While not quite possessing the intensity of masterpieces like Indhentet Af Døden and Til Døden Os Skiller, the EP manages to offer multiple striking melodies and is overall good at preserving the band's poignant spirit, in particular thanks to the riffing of 'Misfarvning Af Liget' and the track with a genius title 'Skeletisering' ("skeletising"?).
In conclusion, De Syv Stadier Af Fordærv offers a consistent portion of visceral and powerful death metal, further reinforcing Undergang's leadership not only of the Danish extreme metal scene (and my personal fondness of them alongside Denmark's best metal acts – Make A Change… Kill Yourself and Lotan), but also of the modern death metal scene as a whole. Unlike the body on the sick cover art, Undergang is clearly not decaying any time soon.
Rating: 8 out of 10254