MORDBRAND (Swedish for “arson”) is a (you guessed it…) Swedish Death Metal
band who have existed since 2010, and formed with some heavy artillery on board. Per
Boder was the vocalist for the legendary
MACABRE END/(and later) GOD
! Also bassist Bjorn Larson has been the bassist for GOD MACABRE since
2013. Nepotism aside, I’m happy to report that
MORDBRAND really seem to be able
to stand on their own two feet, and stand strongly! Thirty seconds into the music, its
pretty easy to figure out where this band is from and from whom they've gathered
influence, direction and inspiration. This is old school Swedish Death Metal and not
surprisingly, sounding like
GOD MACABRE. Heavy Death with an emphasis on that oh so familiar thick and deep
guitar sound. “IMAGO” which is the band’s second proper full length album, chugs
along at mid tempo, giving us a good amount of time to really soak in the obscure
MORDBRAND create, and at times slowing down to just above a Doom
tempo, for some arduous, grinding Death. Obviously, this form of Death Metal is
anything but new and walks a well trodden path, but this atmosphere I speak of is what
separates them from the pack. I’m thinking of
MORDBRAND works these drearily pensive interludes into many of the songs. For me,
this is what Death Metal is all about, and something I always look for in my Death Metal
listening, but all too rarely find.
MORDBRAND, even just having existed for several
years now, are in no way strangers to studio work. Besides the two full lengths, they've
spewed forth a compilation CD, 4 singles / EPS and 3 split releases. One of which was
with legendary British Death masters EVOKE! This one especially I’d love to find. Also
“IMAGO” is getting the full treatment with America’s
taking care of the CD release, and
DOOMENTIA RECORDS bringing up the essential
vinyl version end of the deal, having released it on both black and colored vinyl.  
“IMAGO” is certainly a release fitted for such red carpet handling. When I first started
doing a fanzine, I was always advised to stay away from statements like “Buy or Die”
and I've always been (perhaps overly) self conscious making such proclamations, so I
always hesitate to invoke such blanket statements as “the is the best Death Metal release
ever” and so on, but with
MORDBRAND’s “IMAGO”, I’m definitely going to go out
on a limb with the declaration that this is the best “classic” sounding Swedish Death
Metal album I've heard in a long time. Undoubtedly, a much stronger statement
considering the multitudes of bands doing this kind of thing now. Fans of old
ENTOMBED, old DISMEMBER and CARNAGE (in both sound and quality) should
look no further than
MORDBRAND  to fulfill any un-sated  Death Metal lust left over
from when many of the old guard jumped ship for “greener” pastures in 1992.
- Reviewed by Keith Dempe