Mr. Death
"Detached From Life"

(Agonia Records 2009)Mr. Death - Detached From Life

People do some crazy stuff in order to relive their youth. Those that can afford plastic surgery will see more slicing and chopping more than a Carcass lyric. For the less well off, there's always the option to get plastered off shots on a nightly basis, hearkening to those magic months following one's twenty-first birthday. Grizzled longhairs Mr. Death have a far less self destructive, and way more productive, method for wallowing in the glory days; and that's to make Swedish death metal that ignores every musical development post-1992.

"Detached from Life" was recorded at (where else?) Sunlight Studios in Stockholm, and Mr. Death boasts members that have done time in outfits like Treblinka, Tiamat, and Expulsion. The cover art is an awesome throwback too, designed to look like the cover of a mid-'80s Faces of Death VHS tape. Total side note: if any of you kiddies aren't familiar with the semi-legendary "actual" death footage Faces of Death compilations, do get your grubby paws on one. That's some entertaining "reality" programming. So anyway, Mr. Death...old-school Swedish death metal, done well. The band is more than content to simply rip away with that distinctive chainsaw-slogging-through-mud guitar tone, but like any real practitioners of the sound, they also know how to bring some different dynamics to the table. "Combined Anatomy" shows this off, switching from double-bass driven mid-tempo groove to lurching shamble to tremolo-picked speed and back. One of the biggest upsides to "Detached from Life" is the production; Tomas Skogsberg really gives it that fat, thick, dirty sound that he's renowned for.

All of the band members are in fine form, the recording is aces, and the songs are pretty well written. The only thing wrong with "Detached from Life" is that it literally offers nothing that you can't get from a classic Entombed or Dismember record. Which, to be fair, was exactly Mr. Death's point. So this is, if nothing else, a solid addition to any old-school SDM collection. Now, if they'd just do something about that goofy name...

B

buy it!