As You Drown - Reflection (Metal Blade/Riot)

As You Drown's cathartic debut album Reflection is skillful, unforgiving Swedish death metal.

Swedish death metal outfit As You Drown unleash nine heavy-as-hell tracks of unrelenting brutality on their debut album, Reflection.

Boundless, chaotic energy is the driving force behind the music. Melodic parts are few and far between on Reflection, which works fine; from the first few second of the pounding opener Ruins and Dead Ends, it's apparent that the chief modus operandi here is pure backbreaking ferocity with plenty of creative angles.

On the technical side of things, Reflection expertly covers all bases. The slow parts of the album sound just as fearsome as the faster ones, and the sonic assault of axemen Simon Exner and Mikael Akerstrom is filled with contorted riffs and cacophonous solos that rip through the gutting, tough-as-nails rhythm section. Reflection features some of the most insane blasting I've heard in a while, and the drum work in general is rife with off-the-cuff tempos and blazing technique that would make Cryptopsy's Flo Mounier sit up and take notice. On Refection, the only reprieve from the unyielding aural onslaught is the ghostly instrumental The Last, which serves to break up the chaos. 

This album is self-produced by AYD, and it has to be said that the DIY recording approach has definitely worked for them.

This is a hard, well-rounded death metal album that will be popular with fans of bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel.

As You Drown's Reflection is out now on Metal Blade/Riot.