Entombed - Back to the Front (2014)
Review by Trevor Proctor
Entombed, Godfathers and pioneers of Swedish Death Metal need no introduction whatsoever - Entombed AD on the other hand, might need a little explanation. Following a long term spat between guitarist Alex Hellid and vocalist LG Petrov the band’s split was confirmed by press release in January 2014. The release stated from then onwards LG Petrov would only perform under the name Entombed AD, (also consisting of Nico Elgstrand, Olle Dahlstedt and Victor Brand) in addition to this he also stated he would not be taking part in the Entombed live performance of Clandestine.
This saw classic Entombed members Hellid, Cederland and Anderson play live together for the first time in 17 years. As shocking and saddening as this news was, arguments and divisions within the Entombed camp are no new-fangled novelty when we cast our minds back to remember by the time Wolverine Blues was released LG Petrov had already left then returned to the band.
Despite being recorded in 2013 Back to the Front was only released on the 5th of August 2014 via Century Media – the first Entombed release since 2007’s Serpent Saints; an album which disappointed and alienated many fans. It was recorded (minus Hellid) at Studio Bohus in Kungalv, Sweden and produced by Roberto Laghi (In Flames) and cover artwork was provided by Zbigniew Bielak who has also designed covers for groups such as Vader & Watain.
Kill to Live is the opening track and it’s most notable feature is Petrov’s distinguished and unique vocal style which sounds every bit as pissed off and heartfelt as ever – he’s a seriously excellent vocalist and this is proven by his contribution on this album. However, it’s when track two, Bedlam Attack, kicks in that a grin breaks from ear to ear as that buzz-saw guitar sound is present from the opening note and we feel we’re in familiar territory. The opening riff is as good as anything written by the band in the past and could easily sit amongst many of the great tracks on Clandestine or Wolverine Blues.
Bedlam Attack is most definitely a highlight from the album, as is track seven, “Eternal Woe” another track that bristles with the passion and angst we always associated with Entombed. Unfortunately this is as good as it gets and one or two excellent tracks and a distinct guitar sound along with accomplished vocals are not sufficient enough to create an outstanding or notable album. I’m not stating it’s a rubbish album by any means as it’s a reasonable listen but as a whole it lacks cohesion and at times feels like a band trying too hard whilst at others it feels like a band going through the motions.
I am not an Entombed purist in that I love every album up to and including Wolverine Blues and even found some subsequent albums to be reasonable listens. However, as LG Petrov himself is keen to insist, this isn’t Entombed – it’s Entombed AD and unfortunately this album just doesn’t come close to the high standard of other albums being released at present. I worshipped Entombed as a teenager and will always hold them very close to my heart but for me this isn’t the Entombed we’re all familiar with and doesn’t meet the standard required to carry the Entombed name, even with an idiotic “AD” tagged onto the end of it.
Music is one of the most subjective things in life; one man’s junk is another’s treasure and all that, so I suggest you give it a listen as you could well enjoy it but for me there’s way too many other superior albums available at present to spend our hard earned cash on.
1 - Kill to Live
2 - Bedlam Attack
3 - Pandemic Rage
4 - Second to None
5 - Bait and Bleed
6 - Waiting for Death
7 - Eternal Woe
8 - Digitus Medius
9 - Vulture and the Traitor
10 - The Underminer
11 - Soldier of no Fortune
Entombed AD's Back to the Front was released by Century Media on 5th August 2014