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Entombed – Wolverine Blues (1993)

There are few albums that have done so much for a genre than Wolverine Blues. It redefined what death metal could be, just a few years after its inception. With LG Petrov (R.I.P) back on vocals, the album is generally slower than Left Hand Path. It also changed a lot of other aspects than just the tempo of the songs. I would explain Wolverine Blues as a groovy album, especially the titular track.

For me the standout tracks are Eyemaster, Rotten Soil, Wolverine Blues, Demon, Blood Song and Out of Hand. They define what Entombed are going forward, heavy, groovy without losing anything from their legacy from Left Hand Path, just building on it. This being said, there are many more strong tracks.

LG Petrov’s less guttural vocals introduced in Wolverine Blues became a Entombed staple. It gives the songs a personality that a lot of other death metal bands miss since the voice is more distorted. No one can hear Petrov’s vocals and not hear it’s him and Entombed.

The heaviness in tthe tracks are elevated by the drumming, that varies from very heavy to more fleeting ride heavy sections, which adds to the grooviness in the album. They also let the music breathe, and not making a wall of sound for 30 minutes like some black metal bands from around the same time, creating a dynamic sound unique for the time. This said, they accomplish this without sacrificing anything from their past.

Wolverine Blues is so iconic and so versatile that you hear ingredients for other genres that Entombed don’t identify as. This is what the album is doing so well, making something that is so clearly death metal, but not alienating people that don’t see themselves solely as death metal heads. There is something so everyone, bluesy riffs and solos, heavy slow riffs for the doom enthusiast etc. As a progressive metal fan I hear riff that could’ve been found in songs by Dan Swanö, like the opening riff in Blood Song.

I can’t do anything but to recommend this album for pretty much anyone that wants a solid listen and a lesson in Swedish death metal history.

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