Heavydeath – Demo I (Caligari Records, 2014)


Between the two of them, Johan Backman and Nicklas Rudolfsson have done time in heavy hitting Swedish acts such as Sacramentum, The Funeral Orchestra, Necrocurse and Runemagick, but when the two come together as Heavydeath is when things get really, uh, heavy.  Indeed, the duo have crafted a deep, dark, death doom voyage with their first demo, appropriately titled Demo I, and just as you might expect from seeing the Caligari Records logo stamped on the j-card, it’s a very good one.  Oh, and did I mention yet that it’s heavy?

All kidding aside, Heavydeath really do mean business with their plodding, lo-fi brand of death doom, rife as it is with gnarly, cavernous atmosphere and hypnotic riffs.  This ain’t a caverncore tape though; what I mean by “cavernous” as it relates to this demo is that there’s a shitload of reverb and a ton of space in the mix, lending a stark, minimalistic quality to the proceedings that causes it to come off like a more stripped-down version of the Peaceville Three circa 1990.  It’s slower than molasses and dreary as all get out, but you’re still liable to find yourself banging your head in slow motion to Heavydeath’s doggedly oldschool assault.

Being from Stockholm, Heavydeath can’t help but have a little bit of the city’s death metal tradition in their blood, and there are definitely moments on Demo I that sound like a ‘luded out Entombed; maybe this is what you’d get if you played Left Hand Path at half speed?  Whatever the case, the duo have tapped into the bleak, depressive qualities of classic death doom and soaked them in the rancid buzz of Sunlight Studios style distortion, and it’s a definite case of two great tastes that taste great together.  There’s a feeling of pure dread that courses through the demo, and the core of that dread is formed by the clever way in which Heavydeath mixes these two distinct styles.

Heavydeath have been quite busy this year, having already cranked out four demos; I haven’t had a chance to explore the rest of their material yet, but if this first doomed salvo is anything to go on, I have much to look forward to.  Fans of everything from the aforementioned Entombed and Peaceville Three to Faustcoven to Winter and Hellhammer would be wise to get their grubby paws on this one post haste; even the kids who only know newfangled doom bands like Thou might be able to get down.  The tape is out now on Caligari with more material on the way.



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