16 May 2012
Snaegr - The Hordes of Chaos [Demo] (2011, Self-released)
To me Swedish death metal is probably the most easily recognizable branch of death metal. From the chainsaw-guitar sound, the slow, thrashy riffs, the menacing atmosphere and the filthy production makes it stand out anywhere.
Without reading the band biography beforehand I casually put on Snaegr's newest demo "The Hordes of Chaos", and before the one minute intro song was even half over I thought to myself "they're definitely Swedish". And correct, Snaegr is a Swedish death metal band doing their best to follow in the footsteps of bands like Entombed, Grave and Dismember.
Other than their blatant worship of the Swedish legends you can also find hints of other bands, namely the British band Bolt Thrower. This is evident in both the way they construct their riffs and their inspiration from the fantasy boardgame Warhammer, from which their name is also taken.
For a 4-song demo one cover-song and a pretty straight forward intro track is just too little effort. It's almost impossible to get a complete view of the band on what is essentially two real tracks. If the band's other two demos are equally short I would've preferred if they had compiled all the tracks and put them on one release. What I got from the rather short demo was really what I also mentioned above: That they've listened to a LOT of Swedish death metal, and that they've played a lot of Warhammer.
In terms of musicianship the band's riffmaker Christofer Davidsson is a moderately good guitar player and riffateer, and band's second member, the vocalist Fredrik Johansson, is a pretty decent growler. The production is like it should be: Gritty, filthy and at times you can even catch the fragrant stench of death in your nostrils if you let the music take you to the bands' insane state of mind.
Ultimately The Hordes of Chaos feels like a half-assed effort with too few tracks that don't always seem as worked-through as I have come to expect from demos nowadays. While Snaegr have some cool things going for them, they're still just clinging a bit too much to a genre that has seen hundreds, if not thousands, of bands of varying quality come and go without really doing anything out of the ordinary. 6/10 guitars.
1. Risen from Below
2. End of All Things
3. The Hordes of Chaos
4. Born for Burning (Bathory Cover)
SNAEGR's facebook page