Album Review – Vanhelgd / Relics Of Sulphur Salvation (2014)

Death Metal from Sweden has never been so amazingly tormenting.

Rating4

vanhelgd_relicsWhile some bands are on a mission to bring love and peace to our hearts, others were simply born to torment our souls with their dark and obscure music. That’s exactly the case with Swedish Death Metal band Vanhelgd, who have just released their third full-length album, the furious Relics Of Sulphur Salvation. And believe me, this Mjölby-based band reached such a bestial musicality in this album that they make all Melodic Death Metal bands from Sweden sound like Babymetal.

Recorded back in November 2013 at Studio Underjord and mastered in Necromorbus Studio, Relics Of Sulphur Salvation is a lesson in old school Swedish Death Metal. Let’s say there aren’t many music variations or creative breaks throughout the entire album, but the band’s powerful performance and the intensity found in each song will prevent the listener from getting tired after a while. Quite the opposite, it will be hard for you to not remain totally excited from start to finish.

To begin with, Vanhelgd couldn’t have chosen a better way to open the album: the strong and evil sonority found in Dödens Maskätna Anlete, with its devilish vocals, awesome riffs in the background and the addition of many Black Metal elements (moving its musicality closer to what’s known as Blackened Death Metal) is 100% effective in informing the listener this album is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Then we have the good The Salt in My Hands, which is even heavier due to its fast beats and a very raw instrumental; the extremely dark Where All Flesh is Soil, where it’s impossible not to love its obscure intro, Black Metal riffs and captivating rhythm; and Ett Liv I Träldom, another good song, albeit not as powerful as the previous ones, with a good chorus anyway.

vanhelgdThe sickness continues with another very traditional track “beautifully” named May the Worms Have Mercy on My Flesh, showcasing an excellent performance by drummer Björn Andersson and vocalist/guitarist Matttias Frisk, with highlights to the cool “slowdown” at the end of the song. And if you still think this album is not that heavy, simply listen to the title-track, Relics of Sulphur Salvation, the most demonic of all songs that will disturb the ears and minds of the less courageous for sure with its totally boisterous riffs, harsh vocals and thrilling chorus.

Lastly, Vanhelgd offer us another sonic massacre, Sirens of Lampedusa, one of the fastest songs of all with desperate vocals, drummer Björn Andersson truly on fire and a very melancholic ending. I’m pretty sure after 2 minutes or even less you’ll already feel tormented, in a good way of course, but in case you consider yourself a tough person you’ll have to face one last song, the fast and direct Cure Us from Life, full of Thrash Metal elements, which will surely leave you eager for more of Vanhelgd’s dark and evil music.

Even the album art, designed by Mattias Frisk himself, is very old school and represents what the band’s musicality is pretty well. In conclusion, if you’re a fan of that primeval Swedish Death Metal that conquered the world many years ago, Relics Of Sulphur Salvation (which is already available in different formats at Pulverised Records, 20 Buck Spin and Ljudkassett) is an awesome choice for you to go absolutely crazy and bang your head nonstop. As I mentioned before, their Death Metal was created to torment your life the best way you can imagine.

Best moments of the album: Where All Flesh is Soil,  Relics of Sulphur Salvation and Sirens of Lampedusa.

Worst moments of the album: Ett Liv I Träldom.

Released in 2014 Pulverised Records/20 Buck Spin

Track listing
1. Dödens Maskätna Anlete 5:43
2. The Salt in My Hands 4:25
3. Where All Flesh is Soil 4:22
4. Ett Liv I Träldom 6:07
5. May the Worms Have Mercy on My Flesh 5:24
6. Relics of Sulphur Salvation 5:23
7. Sirens of Lampedusa 6:21
8. Cure Us from Life 3:21

Band members
Mattias Frisk – vocals, guitar
Jimmy Johansson – guitar, vocals
Jonas Albrektsson – bass
Björn Andersson – drums

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