Have you heard of Sweden? Did you know they are quite known for a thing called death metal? Lik are a band from Stockholm, Sweden, and they celebrate raw, angry, old school Swedish death metal. Oh, I can already see you roll your eyes, dear unknown reader. But with their third full length album Misanthropic Breed, Lik do not just kick a seemingly-beaten-to-death horse just enough to make it twitch, oh no! They manage to resurrect the old mare and whoop it into a full-on gallop, ready to charge the enemy and crush him underfoot.
Too enthusiastic of an intro? Well, blame Lik. I thought that “yet another Swedish band” with a style similar to Dismember, Bloodbath or Entombed would not get me excited, but Misanthropic Breed‘s songs are bursting with energy from every seam, and somehow I must have gotten some of that stuff on me. Turns out it’s infectious. 11 songs, 39 minutes, pure heavy death metal goodness, with kick-ass sound that will not let me stop banging my head. Weirdly enough, Lik had planned to track the record at Stockholm’s Solna Studio’s, but then there was this little minor global plague thing, and so the band was forced instead to record it at their rehearsal space. The band stated that not everything worked the way they wanted it to, but they do mention their producer Lawrence Mackrory (Obey Mastering) pulled them through the troubles. And since they brought it up, I wanted to mention him here as well, as Misanthropic Breed is one of the best sounding death metal records in recent and not-so-recent memory. The sound is both “simple” and old-school, but also done in a perfectly clear, brutally heavy modern way with lots of oomph.
Weirdly enough, I did not know of Lik’s existence up to now, but then again, I am more of a black metal addict myself. Death metal fans probably know that Lik consists of vocalist/guitarist Tomas Åkvik, guitarist Niklas “Nille” Sandin, drummer Chris Barkensjö and bassist Joakim “Myre” Antman – so there’s plenty of connections to Katatonia, Bloodbath and other well-known death metal bands (and quite a few thrash and black influences as well). In my opinion though, Lik definitely does not have to hide behind any affiliations with other acts, as Misanthropic Breed has an overabundance of power and energy to offer. If you listen to only one death metal record this year, let it be this one!