12 Mar 2016

Snaegr: "The Hordes of Chaos"

Never above or below decent
Swedish death metal is arguably one of the most iconic branches of extreme metal with its buzzing chainsaw guitar sound, churning riffs, menacing atmosphere and filthy production. You can usually tell if a death metal band is Swedish miles away, and Snaegr are no different with their third demo The Hordes of Chaos.

The Swedish duo, hailing from TranĂ¥s, do their best to pay tribute to the usual suspects Entombed, Dismember and so on. They've got the complete package, but other than their blatant worship for their fellow countrymen there are hints to find that suggest a wider inspiration. Both name, demo title and artwork are taken from Games Workshop's fantasy boardgame Warhammer, but the construction of Snaegr's riffs are also oddly reminiscent of British death metal bands like Benediction and Bolt Thrower.

"If the two original tracks were monstrously well-composed tracks it could perhaps excuse the blatant lack of effort, but this is simply not the case."

For a demo that is already rather short, including two cover tracks (Bathory's Born for Burning and an adaptation of Billy Idol's White Wedding) plus a straight forward intro track seems a bit lazy. If the two original tracks, End of All Things and The Hordes of Chaos, were monstrously well-composed tracks it could perhaps excuse the blatant lack of effort, but this is simply not the case. If the demo is an indication of the duo's capabilities and modus operandi they come across as sloppy amateurs.

They've obviously listened to all the death metal legends, and it would seem they're fans of Warhammer as well. As for musicianship the band's riffmaker Christofer Davidsson is a moderately good guitar player and riffsmith, with the band's second member Fredrik Johansson being a pretty decent growler. Their sound is appropriately gritty and filthy, but where they're falling short is at the very core of their songwriting. It fails to be interesting, much like the rest of the aspects of Snaegr. Ultimately it feels a little halfassed, and most of the time it seems they should've put in the extra effort to really work out all the kinks. There might be something vaguely exciting going on way deep behind all their aspirations, but they cling too much to tradition without realising they can't beat Dismember at their own game.


Released in 2011 independently

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