September 29, 2012 by Beldrac
Entombed – Wolverine Blues
Genre: Death Metal
Okay, a confession: I’m a big fan of Death Metal but I don’t know that much about it. The history and the roots of the genre I mean. I was a late Death Metal bloomer, as it were, and only really got into it in the current millennium. I was browsing through my library tonight looking for a classic from the nineties, no genre in mind, and settled on “Wolverine Blues.” I was also never a huge Entombed fan but saw them live once and they played a large part in me getting into the genre. This album has always stuck in my mind as one of the more important Death Metal albums, so I thought tonight I’d try to figure out why.
After the first spin I’ve gotta say – it’s really nothing special. But this was released in 1993 and what else was there? Simply put: Carcass, Obituary, Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, and Death: the pillars of Death Metal. Entombed was one of the forerunners so for that they deserve a shit-load of respect. What made them special though is that they were one of the pioneers, if not the pioneer of what’s now called Death ‘n Roll. While other bands were being as mean and brutal as possible, Entombed wrote a song about a furry creature “indigenous to Canada, the Pacific Northwest, and upper North West, pound for pound the most vicious animal on earth… known to attack animals many times its size…”
The album’s gone around a second time now and I’m enjoying it even more. To describe it – well, it’s mid-paced with faster sections that inject some energy into the mix, the same energy that gets your head rolling to the tempo of a beer glass moving between table and face. This is the sort of album you’d hear in unpretentious Metal bars where like-minded individuals congregate for good company, good music, and a good night out. Expect to see heads bopping up and down with mindless grins painting maniacal expressions. It’s all relatively even-paced and there are no single tracks that stand out and demands to be listened to, but more than anything this points to good consistency rather than a lacklustre attitude or lack of ideas.
So overall musically and technically, this isn’t right up there with the best of the genre but for what this album represented at the time, 19 yes nineteen years ago, this was some ground-breaking shit. It’s enjoyable as hell too – don’t expect to find yourself listening intently and analysing the riffs and whatever. This is just Death Metal, the way it used to be and the way it should be – uncomplicated, no bullshit, and certainly not for Metal ponces.