heavy metal

Entombed Bio

Band members


Sweden - home to saunas, turnips, blond hair, moose, quality porn, cold weather, horrifyingly expensive alcohol, moustaches and a greatly admired and influential music scene. Delete Abba, Ace of Base and Roxette - we're talking about the legendary metal scene that has forged many great names, but none bigger than the mighty Entombed. Single-handedly, the Stockholm based five piece created a sound all of their own within the normally tunnel visioned death metal scene, and then took it further into the realms of commercial and critical acceptability. Entombed refused to confine themselves to one formula, mutating with each release into what the press eventually termed 'death n' roll.' To fans of the band worldwide, it's just great music. This compilation documents some of the band's finest moments on Earache, and serves as a reminder that it is possible to maintain credibility and integrity despite the often unwelcome attentions of outside factors. Entombed has always been about the music, as the material on offer here highlights.

Even at the demo stage, Nihilist as they were then known were creating a name for themselves, with flyers boldly proclaiming BRUTAL F*CKING HEAVY DEATH as their preferred means of aural antagonism. Formed in 1987 the numerous demos gained them the reputation needed to stand out from the crowd, and the likes of 'Only Shreds Remain', 'Premature Autopsy' and 'But Life Goes On' imprinted themselves firmly on the minds of the underground legions. With a swift name change and a deal with Earache, the newly christened Entombed spewed forth the unparalled 'Left Hand Path' (1990) as a quartet: Lars Goran Petrov on vocals, Alex Hellid and Uffe Cederlund on guitars and Nicke Andersson on drums. Bass duties were shared between Uffe and Nicke. The result was instant and unprecedented - the epic title track, 'Supposed to Rot' and 'Revel in Flesh' all possessed ultra-tight rhythms, unholy riffs, paint stripping vocals and THAT sound. It was a death metal dream, boasting a production job that was later to become the blueprint for the 'Swedish sound', ripped off by many but never bettered. In reality it was the 'Entombed sound' that became the sought after yardstick, but no-one ever did it better than the originators.

There was, however, more than just youthful enthusiasm at work - Entombed didn't restrict themselves to the death metal arena, influenced as they were by the likes of Kiss, Discharge and The Misfits. Given that broad musical education, it was only natural that a mixture of those influences should produce an exciting hybrid offspring. The bands second LP, 'Clandestine' (1991) showed no sign of a let up in the brutality stakes, but indicated at willingness to experiment - samples were included on the bludgeoning opener 'Living Dead', whilst 'Crawl' and 'Stranger Aeons' were annoyingly persistent in worming their way ugly way into the memory. The former was issued as Entombed's first 12" prior to the 'Clandestine' album, debuting Lars Rosenberg on bass, and a one-off appearance from Orvar Safstrom on vocals. Despite the vocal credit to Johnny Dordevic on the aforementioned 'Clandestine', the job was in fact the work of drummer Nicke, with Dordevic's only actual Entombed contribution being his appearance in the 'Stranger Aeons' video! Confused? Back to the music then........

Proving their worth live, Entombed toured Europe and America extensively, including the successful Gods Of Grind package which the '...Aeons' release coincided with. Listening to the those earlier tracks now, its clear to see that although Entombed were in no uncertain terms a death metal band, there were indications that they always had something more to offer. With the release of the 'Hollowman' EP (1993), that extra potential was finally realised. Still heavy and extreme (and bolstered by the return of L.G. Petrov), the EP displayed a more stripped down approach that made the sound more accessible without alienating any of the established Entombed freaks. The instant follow up came in the form of the masterly 'Wolverine Blues' album, acclaimed immediately as a classic. 'Full of Hell', 'Demon' and 'Rotten Soil' all displayed the newly formed 'death n' roll' characteristics - keener songwriting, memorable choruses and a decidedly more modern sound led to 'Wolverine Blues' being voted No.2 album of 1993 by the writers of Kerrang! magazine, a fine achievement for such an uncompromising band.

As the record flew out of the stores, Entombed shot a landmark video utilising the Marvel comic character Wolverine, unsurprisingly for the track 'Wolverine Blues,' marking another milestone for the band. 'Out of Hand' was culled from the LP as a single, showcasing all that Entombed was about with the lead cut, as well as paying homage to their heroes in the form of faithful Kiss and Repulsion covers. From the same era comes another cover, 'State of Emergency', originally penned by Stiff Little Fingers. Amazingly, Entombed's transformation from underground death metal forerunners to worldwide critics choice had taken less than five years, and had launched them into a position where they were now able to sell over 200,000 copies of an album. Naturally, business brains started ticking and eventually in 1996 Entombed signed an ill fated deal with East West Records, leaving as their Earache epitaph the 'Night of the Vampire' split 7" (with the New Bomb Turks).

Entombed have rightly earned themselves a place in extreme music's Hall of Fame, not only by defining a sound plagiarised by many less visionary hopefuls, but by continuing to develop that base without sacrificing their ideals. By retaining the aggressive edge but channelling it more effectively over their career, Entombed have set such a high standard that for them to top it will require a truly monstrous album. In the meantime, their Earache catalogue should provide proof if any were needed that whatever happens Entombed have left an indelible fist embedded in the minds of fans everywhere.

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