The daily news cycles around most of the world doesn’t really cover a lot of what goes on in Sweden. The Nordic nation likes to quietly go about its business in an efficient, low-key manner. But when it comes to the world of metal, Sweden is an absolute superpower. The endless supply of quality bands from Sweden has placed it in the higher echelons of metal and with good reason. Ever since the early 90s, there has been a lot of development in the melodic death sound, also known as the Gothenburg sound, and the more raw, straightforward sound favored by many Stockholm-based bands that is sometimes called ‘Swedeath’ by fans. The latter sound is pretty much exemplified by Demonical on their fifth full-length Chaos Manifesto.
This thirty five minute auditory beat down comes courtesy of Agonia records and is a typical meat-and-potatoes type of death metal album. The eight tracks being with “A Void Most Obscure” which kicks the album off quite strongly with a bit of a Bloodbath vibe and a pretty decent yet brief guitar solo. “Sung to Possess” celebrates the halcyon days of death metal with buzzsaw riffing that sounds at home on a 1988 dusty death metal demo tape. The likes of “Torture Parade” and “Unfold Thy Darkness” deliver high octane material that is seasoned with a light melodic hand as they blast through the speakers with torrential riffing and constant drum pounding. The guys mix things up a little with their first ever track with Swedish lyrics “Välkommen Undergång” (EN: Welcome Downfall) which provides a catchy chorus melody and strong guitar solo.
Another example of catchy melody is “Towards Greater Gods” which is reminiscent of Amon Amarth with its accessible main melody while the last track “Death Unfaithful” echoes that with an engaging melody and busy drumming to end the album off on a high note. Chaos Manifesto is a very good example of the elements of Swedish death metal done right as the old-school sound is presented with a modern, energetic execution. In the 2015 Swedish film ‘En man som heter Ove’ (EN: A Man Called Ove), the main character ‘Ove’ was grumpily making a snide comment about the food habits of other cultures and implicitly comparing them with the rather basic yet efficient Swedish methods by saying “vad är det för fel på kött och potatis?” (EN: What is wrong with meat and potatoes?). This album answer that question by saying: Nothing. When done right; absolutely nothing.