"some music was meant to stay underground..."

As You Drown - "Reflection" (CD)

As You Drown - "Reflection" CD cover image

"Reflection" track listing:

1. Ruins And Dead Ends
2. Horns
3. What Is Worst
4. Driven By Hatred
5. Swallow
6. The Last
7. Open Wound Salvation
8. Ashes
9. Needles

Reviewed by on July 12, 2009

"Henrik Blomqvist and comany bring their rough and raw talents together and pound them into a gloriously brutal, ugly, and at times, painful album."

Hailing from Sweden and bringing with them a gut-load of full-bodied mayhem, As You Drown’s latest offering, “Reflection,” is a noise explosion of lurid riffs, guttural lyrics, and machine-gun fire percussion, to say the least. With nine hard-hitting tracks that pummel every human sense, Henrik Blomqvist and company bring their rough and raw talents together, and pound them into a gloriously brutal, ugly, and at times, painful album.

However, amongst the violent resonance and harsh vocals, there does not appear to be a substantial divergence between all nine tracks, right down from "Ruins and Dead Ends" to "Needles." The only brief hiatus from the often messy "Reflection" is "The Last" - a nightmarish instrumental track that creeps into the middle of the album.

Aside from the repetitious melodies (if you could give them such a sweet-sounding name), fans are treated to an all-out death metal riot, seeing Henrik Blomqvist muster all he can with a force that sounds like Ricky Van Atta’s vocal chords being massacred with a chainsaw, making Sanctus Infernum sound precious in comparison. "What Is Worst" is particularly vicious, annihilating the precincts of death metal and putting their instruments through some serious pain.

Each track on "Reflection" seems to come with enough vocal strength to send Obituary’s John Tardy running for cover. If you could guess the lyrics, the album seems to be driven by nothing but hatred, anger and soul-destroying guitar riffs. Nevertheless, despite the album’s tendency to be overly cyclic, "Reflection" is death metal dug up, shot in the face, and buried again deep in the dirt.

Highs: A full-bodied album that packs a punch in every way.

Lows: Each song track pretty much sounds the same as the former.

Bottom line: Superbly heavy death metal that won't dissapoint As You Drown fans.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)