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10 Most Underrated ENTOMBED Songs

We shine the spotlight on some underappreciated gems from one of metal’s most uncompromising bands.

entombed lg petrov
Photo: S. Bollmann

The metal community has been rocked by the recent news of Entombed frontman LG Petrov’s passing. The influential 49-year-old was one of the spearheads of the Swedish death metal movement in the late-’80s, before helping to innovate another new sub-genre in metal with death ‘n’ roll. This stylistic change in the mid-’90s never felt forced or manufactured, but simply, a change of direction for the group. In fact, if anything, it felt like a reflection of the band members themselves – particularly Petrov.

The iconic frontman was rock ‘n’ roll through and through, and although much of his material had a satanic edge, there was also a dark sense of humor contained within it. As a true individual, this fusion of disparate influences completely set him apart from anyone else in the metal scene. It was a unique combination that informed much of Entombed’s musical output throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s. Seamlessly going from key contributors of Swedish death metal to innovators of death ‘n’ roll, very few bands can lay claim to reinventing the wheel on more than one occasion in the same way that Entombed can.

Despite this, ensconced in the group’s back catalog (which ranges from 1989- 2007) are a litany of tracks that don’t get the attention they deserve. Whether it’s because of their omission from live performances, their tepid critical reception, or simply their lack of popularity – these ten choices remain underappreciated on the whole. This particularly goes for much of the band's work post-Left Hand Path and Clandestine which is widely considered to be their golden period. For the purposes of consistency, this list will include tracks released under the Entombed moniker, as opposed to Entombed A.D.

Honorable Mentions:
Boats (DCLXVI: To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth, 1997)
Vices By Proxy (Same Difference, 1998)
Returning to Madness (Uprising, 2000)
That’s When I Became A Satanist (Inferno, 2003)
Thy Kingdom Coma (Serpent Saints: The Ten Amendments, 2007)

With that being said, come join us on our deep dive into the murky waters of Sweden’s premier death metal band Entombed as we pluck out ten of their most underrated cuts.

10. Bonehouse (Hollowman EP, 1993)

Entombed welcome you into their house of bones on this stellar B-side from 1993. Released as part of the Hollowman EP, “Bonehouse” rattles along with the same punishing death ‘n’ roll sound that permeated the record it was excluded from. Yet despite not being included on Wolverine Blues, there’s a surprising lack of diminishment in quality here – something which you would commonly associate with a ‘throwaway’ bonus track. In fact, the group retains the same balls-to-the-wall attitude that would come to define the sub-genre, utilizing their trademark guitar tone, a short but oh-so-sweet guitar solo, and a technical masterclass behind the drum kit courtesy of the insanely talented Nicke Andersson. They diverge in the middle section, introducing a pulsating riff that stabs at the listener’s eardrums, before returning to the main refrain for some more devilish delights. This is 1993 Entombed and it hits hard.

9. Fractures (Morning Star, 2001)

Getting straight to the point from the jump, Entombed explode out of the blocks on this bruising groove-fest. From their all-too-often overlooked 2001 release Morning Star, the aptly titled “Fractures” is a cut buried deep into the album’s tracklisting. The band shows no mercy as they tear their way through three minutes and 37 seconds of pure no-nonsense metal, the likes of which any metal band would be proud to have written. Petrov means business here, sounding particularly defiant with lines ‘“This is my opinion, these are my demands’” and ‘“My independence is my dependence, it’s my only option, it’s all that makes sense.’” That defiance turns to anger as he howls in the pre-chorus “I’d like to see you corrected, I’d like to see you destroyed!’” Distorted basslines, throat-tearing vocals, and a killer guitar solo round out this stonker of a track.

8. The Only Ones (Uprising [U.S. Edition], 2000)

Even for death ‘n’ roll-styled Entombed, this rip-roaring song gets particularly bluesy. Only released as a bonus track in the U.S. for 2000’s Uprising, “The Only Ones” is one of the rockiest songs the group has ever composed. The vocal layering in the verses combined with some seriously searing guitar licks creates an intoxicating mixture for the listener. ‘“We’d like to think that we are the only ones” rings out in the chorus as the instrumentation crashes around it – precariously teetering on the edge of a cliff. They finish this one with some on-point stop/start moments, further punctuated by Petrov’s exclamation of ‘“The only ones – we’re not the only!”’ It may be unrecognizable from their death metal roots, but “The Only Ones” is a very solid snapshot of a band simply enjoying themselves during this time period. Their freewheeling spirit comes through loud and clear on this banging blues-athon.

7. They (DCLXVI: To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth, 1997)

It’s fair to say that by 1997, Entombed had certainly mastered the art of the mid-tempo groove. With the release of their fourth studio album DCLXVI: To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth, the Swedish outfit expanded upon the grisly foundations that were laid down on Wolverine Blues four years earlier by venturing deeper into their death ‘n’ roll core. The finished product contained some of the most noteworthy tracks in their career – not least the criminally underrated “They.” A bottom-heavy bassline, a thunderous lead riff, and an exasperated Petrov help define this one. It’s a track that sees Entombed utilize their newfound rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities to astonishing effect, simultaneously sounding sinister yet carefree in one fell swoop. This musical monolith exemplifies what Entombed were all about – hard riffs, driving drumbeats, and blood-curdling vocals. If this blazing ground-splitter doesn’t get you pumped, you might want to check your pulse.

6. Dusk (Stranger Aeons EP, 1991)

Entombed could practically do no wrong back in 1991 with the release of the death metal classic Clandestine – even leaving out tracks that any death metal group would be lucky to have in their discography. One such cut is the primeval dirge “Dusk.” Included on their Stranger Aeons EP, “Dusk” typifies everything that death metal fans loved so much about the band’s early output; the raw production, the trademark guitar tone, the frenetic pace – it’s all here. A guttural growl to start proceedings certainly sets the mood for what’s to come, as guitars cut through the mix like a circular saw, spinning this one into eternal damnation. Of course, there’s no denying the quality of what’s already featured on Clandestine, but surely this frantic death metal masterclass could’ve made the cut? Entombed achieve more in these two-and-a-half minutes than most metal bands can muster up at double the length.

5. Children of the Underworld (Inferno, 2003)

Refusing to let even the slightest slither of light into its cataclysmic core, “Children of the Underworld” dwells in the darkest points of the musical spectrum. The group embrace their inner-most morbid thoughts with alarming lines like ‘“With blood our thirst has been stilled, with flesh our stomachs are filled. We are children of the underworld and we kill.’” Of course, it isn’t just the lyricism that exudes this evil aura, but the instrumentation too. The track features a refrain so low and gnarly, you can psychically feel the vibrations emanate from the guitars it’s being played on. Operating at a much slower pace than normal, the outfit make great use of atmospherics and sound experimentation with creaking guitars and subdued drumbeats perfectly setting the dingy, sermonic mood. The song almost sounds like it could be an unofficial fan anthem, but surprisingly, it's only been performed live on two occasions. It’s a shame really because it includes all the ingredients that any Entombed fan could want – and then some.

4. Amok (Serpent Saints: The Ten Amendments, 2007)

Serving as the last LP to be released under the Entombed name, 2007’s Serpent Saints: The Ten Amendments was a terrific combination of everything the group had done up until that point. It was a hybrid of their vicious brand of death metal mixed with the rollicking nature of their death ‘n’ roll material. Nowhere is this evidenced more so than on the confrontational thumper “Amok.” Petrov shows no remorse as he spits out confrontational decelerations like a man possessed, propped up by a menacing musical background that hurtles forward with reckless abandon. This supremely savage cut certainly wasn’t undervalued by the band themselves as they chose to re-release a new recording of the track in 2012 in collaboration with Swedish metal label Ninetone Records. While it is a solid reinterpretation of the original blueprint, it still doesn’t top the initial recording’s seething aggression.

3. Clauses (Same Difference, 1998)

If there’s one thing that can be taken from Entombed’s eyebrow-raising foray into alternative rock/metal with 1998’s Same Difference, it’s that the band are incredibly adept at anything they turn their hand to. The album’s arguably the least popular release (both critically and amongst fans) in the group’s history, but to my ears, there are some wonderful tracks scattered amongst the debris. It’s certainly an interesting listen, but no more so than on the careening stunner “Clauses.” Much of this can be credited to an ingenious lurching main riff – one which is as simple as it is effective. Petrov delivers one of his most underrated vocal performances here, playing around in the verses with some really creative voice inflections before bringing the house down in the chorus with defiant screams of “Strong in mind!” and “I stand my ground!” – the latter of which he hair-raisingly belts out for the song’s thrilling climax. This slow-burning scorcher is evidence that less can certainly be more.

2. Forsaken (Crawl EP, 1991)

As was the same with the previously mentioned “Dusk,” “Forsaken” met the same understated fate by being included as a taster track on an EP. The EP in question was 1991’s Crawl and it saw Nirvana 2002 vocalist Orvar Säfström take the helm as the temporary frontman. The group keep up a blistering pace throughout this journey into the bowels of hell, utilizing finger-peeling riffage, spontaneous tempo changes, and relentless percussion sections to get across their macabre themes. Throw in a brutal breakdown and you’ve got a crushing composition that deserves more recognition. Entombed did a very admirable job at providing a solid output between the release of Left Hand Path and Clandestine – with “Forsaken” arguably being the standout track of the bunch. To sum it up, if you’re yearning for some old-school Scandinavian death metal, then don’t miss out on this pummeling powerhouse of a song.

1. Say It In Slugs (Uprising, 2000)

With the release of 2000’s Uprising, the band’s return to the Wolverine Blues sound of old was a welcome one. Case in point; “Say It In Slugs.” Entombed barrel forth with reckless abandon on this explosive ripper, led down a seriously sludgy path thanks to one of the most effective and satisfying riffs the group has ever conjured up. They slow it down to a snail's pace on the bridge section, before ratcheting it back up to almost frenzied levels of intensity for a grandstand finish. The Swedish shredders know they’ve got a fine guitar hook here – which is why they resurrect it one last time towards the end with the ferocity levels turned up to 11. The mix almost sounds like it’s going to erupt through the speakers before ultimately crashing in on itself for a devastating, doom-laden finale. Clocking in at just under 5 minutes, “Say It In Slugs” is a musical battering ram that marks arguably the pinnacle of the band’s post-Clandestine work. It’s fierce, it’s fiery, and it’s quite simply fantastic.

We would love to hear what you think are the most underrated Entombed songs. Let us know below in the comments!

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