Laethora - March of the Parasite
The End Records
Death Metal
10 songs (38'48")
Release year: 2007, The End Records
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

I have a privilege of knowing Niklas Sundin (guitars for Laethora, but also for Dark Tranquillity) personally. Every time Dark Tranquillity is in the US I catch them on tour and make it a point to meet Niklas for a quick chat. He has always impressed me as an unassuming and quiet man, almost gentle, defying the typical stereotype of a death metal guitarist. I have no idea how Laethora came to be, but even the most kind and gentle of us have an aggressive side we have to let out. Maybe that was true for Niklas as well, and some other outlet outside of Dark Tranquillity was more appropriate to revisit old school Swedish death metal, Stockholm style. Perhaps, Niklas wasn’t the only one who needed to exercise the demons, as he is joined in Laethora by many players from The Provenance, another Swedish band known much more for their gothic metal than an ugly death/grind side.

Whatever the reasons behind Laethora creation, the principle of “new is simply a well forgotten old” obviously applies with the band. If you hold Dismember and Edge of Sanity first couple of records in very high regard, March of the Parasite should be joining your pantheon. This is one album done by skilled musicians/songwriters with the use of modern production that pays homage to days past.

Unlike so many death metal records of today March of the Parasite is not going to blind you with the blast and erase your other senses with overpowering speed and technicality. The fast tracks of this album, like Parasite, Revolution at Hand and Warbitrary, instead, offer that characteristic Swedish death/grind beat, only rarely slipping into a blasting barrage. Onto that foundation guitar riffs are applied ranging from warbling to dental drill to something with an Egyptian melody, but never lacking traces of dark harmony. Warbitrary even reminds me of On Frozen Fields from Dismember Massive Killing Capacity, but with heavier production. From machine gun to war marches to squealing leads (Clothing for the Dead), this is one guitar driven record, just like death metal of old has to be. Not to be outdone, Jonatan Nordenstam’s vocals give a full impression of refreshed Matti Karki with some higher pitch shrieks, and serious throat tearing going on at the end of Y.M.B.

Where Laethora transcends many in the field is their masterful ability to apply change of pace. Slow, doomy and dark Impostors all of a sudden explodes in the stunningly effective contrast. After being mashed by Impostors, Black Void Remembrance offers a quick melodic introspective look, even injecting a rare cleanly sung line. The Scum of Us All is dragging dirt in its wake with creepy piano and twangy guitar, while the following Y.M.B. masterfully changes the mood back to aggressive with a menacing double bass. The aforementioned quick melodic grind of Warbitrary is a prelude to the epic and excruciatingly apocalyptic, crushing Facing Earth, making it one hell of a closer.

Just like I have no idea of Laethora origins I don’t know if this is a one-time project, or if the band is here to stay. Not pretending to reinvent the wheel, March of the Parasite is a solid Swedish death metal entry. I guess the longevity will in part be determined by how well the album does with The End Records turning out to be very eclectic recently, signing acts ranging as wide as Sigh, Stolen Babies and Lordi. With Laethora the label has an old school death metal band on the roster as well.

Killing Songs :
Parasite, The Scum of Us All, Warbitrary, Facing Earth
Alex quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Laethora that we have reviewed:
Laethora - The Light In Which We All Burn reviewed by Khelek and quoted 86 / 100
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