Swedish death metal is the kind of thing that’s far from an uncommon occurrence as it feels like there’s a new one being formed every single day. Yet, for those of us who know the potential of the underground scene and the madness within its confines. A search of mine years ago led me to the then-new act of Under the Church, and I haven’t looked back as their debut was all but fucking amazing, and a follow-up was something I was really excited for. Today that has been made a reality and everything I could’ve hoped for came to life with this opus of death and decay.
With their first album, Under the Church made one fucking hell of an impression that was all but intimidating because of how vicious and filthy the entire album was. The idea of a follow-up record never made me think that Under the Church was going to divert from their style, but I never thought they were going to do the exact same thing twice. Thankfully, I was correct and with the fresh corpse that is “Supernatural Punishment”, we’re greeted with a sound that’s familiar but with a good twist to it. The thirty minutes that this record takes up present to us practically the same take on old school death metal that made Under the Church a name to know, but each of these nine tracks are absolutely stuffed with gripping riffs and melodies that bring this monster together incredibly well to create a fluid experience that takes you through all the essentials of being a death metal act nowadays. And to say “Supernatural Punishment” is pulled off with naught but the utmost expertise to really show the talent and mastery behind Under the Church. Each song is undoubtedly following the same base sound that Under the Church grows from, but the whole of “Supernatural Punishment” has its own special annals and pieces that stand out like the drums for the opener, unity of the band for “Staircase to Hell”, and the wailing strings of the closer. It all comes together perfectly to create a stunning display of Swedish death metal done right that’ll earn Under the Church the right to be placed alongside the country’s legendary staples of the genre like Entrails, Entombed, and Paganizer.
This has been a band that I’ve always had faith would expand and conquer like many bands before it, but they simply had to prove it to the masses more than just me, and that seems to be exactly what they did with this record. “Supernatural Punishment” is more than enough proof that Under the Church is the real fucking deal – the new name of death metal that must be heard and one that is destined to ascertain an extremely loyal following.
LISTEN to “Supernatural Punishment” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Under the Church on Facebook here.