Review 2077 : Morbid Saint – Swallowed by Hell – English

Morbid Saint is still on the run.

Formed in 1984 in the USA, the band stopped after three demos and one album, only to return in 2010. In 2024, Jay Visser (guitar), Jim Fergades (guitar), Pat Lind (vocals), Bob Zabel (bass) and DJ Bagemehl (drums) announce the release of Swallowed by Hell, their third album, on High Roller Records.

The album kicks off at full speed with Rise from the Ashes, a vindictive track that sums up their comeback while striking with sharp riffs. Thrash’s raw energy also spreads to the unifying vocal parts, which are also to be found on Swallowed by Hell, the eponymous track, which takes the time to place an occult introduction before letting its aggressive roots take over. The track is relatively more restrained than its predecessor, but still keeps its ferocity by leading us into Bloody Floors, a composition that first brings bass to the fore before the other instruments join in with the worked and heady riffs. Leads are as screechy as ever, returning to eerie Old School patterns on the heavy Burn Pit and its admittedly offensive but relatively dark riffs, while offering a few jerky passages before letting Fear Incarnate envelop us in an oppressive veil to begin its savage but quite melodic assault. The band returns to pure rage on Fuck Them All, a composition with a rather equivocal name that perfectly illustrates the hatred the musicians develop in their rhythm overlaid with fiery screams, then Bleed Them Dry follows with a breathless touch to stay in this warlike atmosphere. More dissonant parts are integrated into the steady advance punctuated by vivid explosions before it transforms into blistering guitars on Pine Tuxedo, making the sound almost disturbing before the new charge puts everyone in agreement thanks to extremely effective riffs. Killer Instinct continues on the path laid out by the previous track, combining a massive rhythm with the bloody keys the band plays at breakneck speed, still allowing themselves a few slower and heavier parts, then the album comes to a close with Psychosis, the ultimate composition that blends its screaming harmonics with a raging rhythm that pays homage to the style’s roots.

Morbid Saint may have taken a long break, but the band’s vindictive spirit remains intact and more alive than ever. Swallowed by Hell is the kind of aggressive Old School album Thrash needs these days, one that makes no compromises and pours out all its hatred at full speed.


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