Facebreaker - Bloodred Hell
Rage Of Achilles
Death Metal
11 songs (36'06")
Release year: 2004
Rage Of Achilles
Reviewed by Alex

A quick personal story. Back in 1997 when I had my knee operated on for the second time, I decided to watch (thanks to the epidural that leaves the upper body not affected). My doctor suggested he would give me a shot of “something” not to go queasy on him during the procedure. Whatever “something” he gave me was good stuff. Imagine this feeling of bliss when you don’t give a rat’s ass even when you watch them carve up your flesh piece by piece. This is exactly the feeling I get sometimes listening to a good death metal release. No matter how sick you are or how down you feel at the time, nothing matters when the music is roaring out of the speakers. The latest to invoke such feeling in me was Facebreaker’s debut Bloodred Hell.

Facebreaker should be the name of a hardcore band. Yet, this time around it isn’t, as this Swedish death metal outfit is frontmanned by Roberth Karlsson. Yes, the same guy who replaced Dan Swano in Edge of Sanity and undeservedly got a huge amount of flack. Try replacing the legend. No matter what you do it will never be good enough. Just ask Steve Young when he replaced Joe Montana in San Francisco 49ers (today is Super Bowl weekend!), or, closer to metal, ask Tim Owens about Judas Priest.

Back to Facebreaker though. The music on Bloodred Hell is as far away from hardcore as it gets, and, man, I am thankful for it. The guys come through with brutal, blasphemous, to the point brand of death metal that makes you exactly not care about your own flesh being cut. Roberth Karlsson sounds unbelievably wicked, almost demonic throughout the whole album. Excellent performance!

The first two tracks The Demon and Cursed (with its slight grindcore influences) put me in a wait-and-see mode, but Human Spoil took all doubts away. This song was the point where Bloodred Hell came together for me and didn’t let go. Even though Facebreaker profess to play a Swedish brand of death metal I feel that Human Spoil extends its hand across the Atlantic and marries Facebreaker with its American, namely NYC, counterparts in its darker atmosphere. Immolation and Withered Earth come to mind. Backing vocals are used very cleverly on this track. Slightly higher in tone than the main lead by Karlsson, they achieve the point of hysteria. The chorus, with its every beat snared, hooks you up so you want to repeat it again and again, and harmonic lead and eerie guitar outro complete the picture. The whole album has this feeling of old classic Swedish Unleashed Victory era riffs played with the darker guitar tone, an excellent example being when the quieter mid-point in Hater gets crushed by the guitar onslaught. Sometimes the tempo speeds up as in a brief grind number Total Wasteland, yet it is a controlled grind with a chaotic lead and awesome rhythm section-vocals only break midway. Slower marching numbers Crushed and Hell is Coming Closer are monumental and symbolize death metal in my book. Lead guitar pierces the fabric of Hell is Coming Closer before returning to the steady riff progression. The closer Bleed just screams of “no letting up” when the vocals get worked up in the frenzy right after another lead which will engrain itself on your brain core.

I hope you get the picture. What Facebreaker managed to do for me is take an old Swedish death metal sound and infuse it with enough darkness and gloominess I have momentary lapses of disregard for my personal safety. This is the music I recommend you don’t take on the highway with you, unless it is a remote and desolate road where no one will hear you scream along with Roberth. This is the music that may not be new or revolutionary but it certainly got through to my inner soul.

Killing Songs :
Human Spoil, Hater, Total Wasteland, Crushed, Hell is Coming Closer, Bleed
Alex quoted 83 / 100
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