Hedlund and Co. are back, this time pulling no punches after the “Hell’s Unleashed” debacle and while still sporting the best logo in the business, Midvinterblot conquers in its intensity and fervent, unapologetic worship of the melodic death riff. As if having packed up their bags and ventured back to 1992 to write and record things this time around, Midvinterblot is not-surprisingly thick, full of tasty Swedish melodies and sweet, quick leads reminiscent of that heralded age of intensity, the 1980s.
Midvinterblot is wrapped around somewhat of a concept; having taken a steep dive into a decidedly more Viking-esque theme of honor, pride and conquering all. Hedlund’s pronounced death groan is easy to follow, and easy to bang along to, with lyrics flirting with American politics (“Triumph of Genocide”), the glory of Father Odin (“The Avenger”) and just plain old war (“In Victory or Defeat”). The tracks top out at only 4:00 with “We Must Join With Him,” a rather blatant ode to Tolkien’s Middle Earth and the dreaded Sauron. Most songs are kept to a brisk two and a half minutes. With Unleashed you know what you are in for, and with the 15 quick tracks, this dominating crew are out for blood. Absolutely still a huge force in Swedish Death Metal, and an amazing ally to metal itself. So go ahead and bow now.
Triumph of Genocide