"Misanthropic Breed"

(Metal Blade)

01. The Weird
02. Decay
03. Funeral Anthem
04. Corrosive Survival
05. Female Fatal to the Flesh
06. Misanthropic Breed
07. Flesh Frenzy
08. Morbid Fascination
09. Wolves
10. Faces of Death
11. Becoming

RATING: 8.5/10

There were a handful of songs on LIK's last album, "Carnage", that were so absurdly exciting that I couldn't listen to them while driving. You know, just in case. The Swedish band have only existed for seven years at this point, but "Misanthropic Breed" proves again that they have virtually no equal when it comes to insanely hard-hitting and obscenely catchy old-school (and fervently Swedish) death metal. If you agree that there are few things more exciting than the first few minutes of ENTOMBED's "Left Hand Path", then you will definitely love the way "The Weird" explodes at the start of this monstrous record. Two minutes and 34 seconds later, it stops abruptly, and "Decay" erupts: another immaculate and utterly punishing burst of hook-laden, brutal perfection.

Maybe it's the production that makes "Misanthropic Breed" so thrilling and undeniable. Those kick drums will make ribcages rattle, and both bass and guitar tones are heroically thick and gnarly. Or maybe it's LIK's superhuman songwriting chops that seal the deal. Or, as seems likely, both. Whichever way you slice it, this is absolutely top of the range death metal, just as Satan intended. The genre has always been a malleable thing, and there's a lot to be said for all the perverse and progressive deathly strains that have emerged over the last three decades. But some brilliant ideas require no refining: from "Funeral Anthem"'s bulldozer grooves to "Flesh Frenzy"'s EXHUMED-like slash-up, LIK's fourth album is a mesmerizing advertisement for the power of a genre that (somewhat ironically) refuses to die, and somehow keeps gaining muscle and momentum. With an even higher strike rate than its predecessor, "Misanthropic Breed" revels in its own relentlessness, so much so that you can almost hear the band's temple veins bulging in time with those pummeling kicks.

There's variety here too, of course. "Female Fatal to the Flesh" is a slow-motion descent into erotic hell, with scything doom riffs and disembodied dialogue inching up the tension; "Morbid Fascination" starts as a BOLT THROWER-esque pile driver, swiftly morphing into a souped-up trad metal riot, replete with rabble-rousing chorus and a creepy, haunted house instrumental section with a blazing solo from guitarist Niklas Sandin; "Faces Of Death" is the kind of heads-down, D-beat blitzkrieg that never fails to incite cheerful violence, again with an incisive, lobotomized chorus to cherish.

This is manifestly superior stuff. LIK have clearly learned from the greats. No one could accuse them of reinventing the wheel here, but if you want a death metal record that will absolutely nail you to the wall, while noisily reminding you why you love this shit in the first place, "Misanthropic Breed" will take some beating in 2020.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).