Genre: Death Metal
Label: Soulseller Records
Another act in the bandwagon of current Swedish old school death metal are Maim, who have been around since 2006 and they have three albums on their backs, including the latest “Ornaments of Severity”. It is the continuation of 2011’s “Deceased to Exist” (even though they also released an EP in 2015) and keeps adding on the pile of legit records they have. The band’s attitude is very direct once again, as they have made sure with their latest work here.
“Ornaments of Severity” is built on a simple bunch of musical characteristics that can be guessed beforehand, so anyone with a past in death metal should know what he’s getting into. The whole album displays flaming guitar riffs and powerful, melodic solos, scathing vocals and great drumming, with lines straight from the heart of Swedish death metal and not further. Maim are confident and have worked well on their ideas, having produced a decent record without bringing anything innovating to the table.
The album maintains a brutal and aggressive essence, mostly with middle paced tracks that show off the great guitar lines of the band. The production is satisfying and the drums thrive most of all (listen to that snare for example), giving “Ornaments of Severity” it’s organic sound. The vocals of Sandberg are clear and a mixture of growls and shouts, instead of just deep growling, which fits nicely to the tracks. Maim go really slow at some moments (see “With Nails and Bolts” or the middle part of “The Gnarling Dead”) and these moments might be highlights too.
There are a few samples here and there (in “Sepulchral Haze”) that a bit more taste to the record, as well as an introduction, a minute and a half interlude and a short outro in that same track, since it’s the last. The band has also included a six minute instrumental track “Skeletons” and all these parts are of assistance to the flow and the general feel of the album. If you were to listen to only one track out of this, don’t miss out on the catchy “Coffin Gloryhole” which might convince you to check it in full.
There are many good compositions in “Ornaments of Severity” and I was more that pleased with almost everything I heard. The one track that is weaker than the rest is “Aura of Desperation”, which at first is short, and doesn’t have the complexity of other moments, or the power to say the least. However, it connects greatly introducing the next track in the album, “With Nails and Bolts”, so it doesn’t really harm the overall image.
If you like Swedish death metal by the book, this record will be in your player for some time and it deserves your attention. Maim have done great and it’s a solid effort that has tracks that are noticeable and fun to listen to. As a whole, this is recommended.