Entombed: Left Hand Path 12"

Entombed: Left Hand Path 12"


Tags: · 90s · death metal · deleteme · metal · reissues · sweden
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Crushing guitars, gutteral vocals all with an eye for deadly but catchy songs made Entombed's 1990 debut not just one of Earache's all time best selling albums but virtually kick started the whole Swedish death metal scene. Unmissable. Track Listing Side A: 01. Left Hand Path 02. Drowned 03. Revel in Flesh 04. When Life Has Ceased 05. Supposed to Rot Side B: 06. But Life Goes On 07. Bitter Loss 08. Morbid Devourment 09. Abnormally Deceased 10. The Truth Beyond

Our take: I was born in 1979, so I’m old enough that my journey toward underground music started a little bit before Nirvana broke, but not quite early enough that I was a full-on metalhead in the 80s. As I entered my tween years, I searched out the most intense and weird music I could find, groping around in a number of different directions… Metallica, Faith No More, Guns N Roses, Sonic Youth… whatever I could get my hands on. And even after Nirvana kind of changed everything in 1992, some metal still slipped onto my playlist here and there… Biohazard, Pantera, Slayer… basically anything that could match the intensity of the punk rock I was discovering at the time. However, sometime around 93 or 94 (when I was 14 or 15) I learned enough about the punk rulebook to understand that metal was verboten, and I pretty much stopped listening to it (with the exception of bands like Converge, Cave In, and Dillinger Escape Plan, who at the time weren’t really classified as metal, at least to me) for a very long time. I give you this long introduction because when I finally got metal-curious again (I’m guessing this is sometime in the mid-00s, after a solid decade of listening to pretty much nothing but punk and hardcore), Entombed’s Left Hand Path was one of the things that really grabbed my ear. I remember my bandmate Matt from Cross Laws giving me a big stack of metal CDs by bands like Celtic Frost, Asphyx, Sodom, Bathory… stuff that was a little too underground for me to have come across it when I was a teenager in the pre-internet age. While I have come to really love all of those bands, at the time Left Hand Path was the record I couldn’t stop listening to, and sitting down with it again now that this reissue is available, I’m still struck by how punk rock it sounds. Despite the fact that it is indisputably a death metal record—there’s nothing a death metal record should have that it doesn’t, and nothing that it has that would be out of place on any other death metal record—there’s something about this record that really appeals to a punk/hardcore sensibility. What is that? I have absolutely no idea, and no one I’ve talked to about it has really been able to articulate it any more precisely. So, this whole long, rambling biographical treatise is basically to say that if you’re into hardcore but you’re metal-curious, check out Left Hand Path. It may just be the record that turns you.