Death by Truncheon


You just know a Scandinavian death metal band is on the right track when it prefers performing songs written by senior citizens to the incineration of local churches. Entombed’s Black Juju has three—count ’em, three—tunes for the over-50 crowd. First off, it’s named for the old Alice Cooper number about dead bodies needful of rest (or something like that). Only Entombed’s version is roughed up in a way that sounds like it was recorded for the Pretties for You sessions rather than in Bob Ezrin’s Love It to Death studio—good thing, because the original “Black Juju” was pretty boring once you got past its first 45 seconds.

Also of note is a cover of Captain Beyond’s “Mesmerization Eclipse,” done straight up. The drums slip and slide viciously, just like Bobby Caldwell’s usedta in ’71, back before CB opted for lame mood music. Here Entombed sound a lot like a band that played at old Pine Grove High’s Friday nite dances circa 1972 until a couple student council girls got irate because the guitars were too loud and undanceable. That was a sad day.

“Ballad of Hollis Brown” updates the Nazareth wall-o-fuzz treatment of the Dylan classic for a more contemporary hardcore polka. It sounds like flying beer cans and fisticuffs, a fact bound to endear it to that segment of the audience that fancies hitting someone over the back of the head with a truncheon.

Other numbers either quote from Philthy Animal-era Motörhead or peg-legged blooz stomps. And there’s a Green Amplifiers endorsement, also seen on Bongzilla and old Sleep CDs, which could mean Entombed are into that get-up-stand-up-for-your-right- to-plant-marijuana-and-play-doom-metal thing.

I’m told, as well, that Entombed once had a famous demo tape called Premature Autopsy. Not much of a problem here in the U.S.A., but it could be, I guess, in Japan, where the good folk very occasionally lapse into deathlike comas after eating too much poison puffer fish at seafood restaurants.

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