From the cover art of their Winged Death (Century Media) 7” EP released back in May, to its 1970s style typeface and the name of the band itself, you don’t have to be a genius to work out that Swedish act The Lurking Fear are about all things old school Death Metal, and Lovecraftian themed horror.
A “supergroup” of sorts, The Lurking Fear (their name taken from an HP Lovecraft short story) features At The Gates frontman by night, social studies teacher by day, Tomas Lindberg, on vocals, Fredrik Wallenberg (Skitsytem) and Jonas Stålhammar (God Macabre, Bombs of Hades) on guitars, bassist Andreas Axelson (Disfear, Tormented), and Adrian Erlandsson of At The Gates, and The Haunted behind the drumkit.
With a reassuringly sinister swirling vortex of evil adorning its cover, debut album Out Of The Voiceless Grave (Century Media) tells you instantly what to expect, and from the exact moment the aptly titled ‘Vortex Spawn’ begins after the short instrumental title track, you are thrown back in time to the late eighties and early nineties, to bands like Autopsy, Possessed, Morbid Angel, and Pestilence.
There are no surprises here. No showing off with overt flourishes of needless technicality and pointless experimentation. Just honest-to-Old-Ones Death Metal as it should be played. Fast, messy, and relentlessly aggressive. ‘The Starving Gods of Old’ combines Morbid Angel with an unusual bouncy riff. ‘With Death Engraved in Their Bones’, ‘Teeth of the Dark Plains’ and the aforementioned ‘Winged Death’ will hurt your neck if played on repeat, ‘The Cold Jaws of Death’ builds tension and atmosphere, but in all honesty, the prospect of being ‘Tongued With Foul Flames’ by ‘Tentacles of Blackened Horror’ really doesn’t sound like the best way to spend an evening. Meanwhile, the intro to closing track ‘Beneath Menacing Sands’ doesn’t sound a million miles away from ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ by Slayer, and that’s never a bad thing.
Want something new and fresh that caters to all of your old school Death Metal requirements? Then (until Gruesome get around to releasing their next full length anyway) you really need look no further than The Lurking Fear.