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3.83 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2015

Filed under Death Metal


1. The Emperor (5:09)
2. Imperial Burning (5:12)
3. Lucifer has Spoken (4:58)
4. Spirit Of The Black Tide (4:56)
5. Contemplate Death (1:28)
6. All Hail (3:28)
7. Ruination (3:10)
8. Necromance (4:06)
9. Shadow Realms (3:05)
10. Ginnunga (4:02)
11. Infernal Eternal (2:32)

Total Time 42:06


- Fredrik Folkare / guitars
- Victor Brandt / guitars
- Matte Modin / drums
- A Impaler / bass
- LG Petrov / vocals

About this release

Century Media Records, November 13th, 2015

Music videos were made for "Lucifer Has Spoken" and "The Emperor".

All recordings done during summer of 2015.

Guitars recorded at Studio Svängrummer in Stockholm, Sweden.
Bass and vocals recorded at Necrophonic Studios in Stockholm, Sweden.
Drums recorded at Studio Maskinrummet in Uppsala, Sweden.

Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered at Great Scot! Audio in Uppsala, Sweden.

Thanks to Nightfly for the addition and UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Shadow Realms" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Firespawn. The album was released through Century Media Records in November 2015. A teaser single in "Lucifer Has Spoken" was released in August 2015 to promote the release of the album. Firespawn is a project band featuring several rather prolific Swedish musicians in lead vocalist LG Petrov (Entombed/Entombed A.D.), guitarist Victor Brandt (Entombed/Entombed A.D.), guitarist Fredrik Folklare (Necrophobic, Unleashed), bassist Alex Friberg (Necrophobic), and drummer Matte Modin (Defleshed, Dark Funeral).

Stylistically the music on "Shadow Realms" is fairly standard Swedish death metal. There are old school traits in loads, but also other more contemporary elements like blast beats and rhythmic variation. There are quite a few nods towards Entombed, which is only natural as LG Petrov fronts the band and Victor Brandt is also involved, but the music on "Shadow Realms" is generally a bit more brutal and death metal oriented than contemporary Entombed. Petrov also sings darker and more guttural here, although his growling vocal style is still as distinct sounding as ever. Fredrik Folklare leaves his mark on the album too, delivering one well played and melodic guitar solo after another, and the rhythm section are very well playing too, which of course isn´t a surprise if you´re familiar with Friberg and Modin.

The material on the 11 track, 42:06 minutes long album is well written and relatively varied for the genre. Not all tracks stand out equally much, but the quality is high throughout. To my ears "Lucifer Has Spoken" is the most standout track on the album. The sound production is raw, powerful, and clear, which is a good fit for the music. So upon conclusion "Shadow Realms" is a solid quality effort by Firespawn. It lacks a bit in the originality department, but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still well deserved.
To list all the bands that the members of Firespawn have played with or are currently a member of would require a Pete Frame style family tree of gargantuan proportions. However, the five musicians involved - Fredrik Folkare, Victor Brandt, L G Petrov, Alex Friberg and Matte Modin will be no strangers to death metal fans from bands like Unleashed, Entombed, Defleshed and Necrophobic to name a few.

Apparently the band came into existence from a desire to play some music that was more extreme, heavier and faster than their current day job bands. Shadow Realms is the result and it’s a very impressive album though while it’s more extreme than Unleashed for example I wouldn’t say it’s significantly so in all cases. That’s not to say this isn’t a great album though – in fact I love it. Certainly quite an immediate album due to the memorability of some killer riffs and while it will bludgeon you with some ferociously fast and technical playing at times what stands out for me above all is this album has so much groove, All Hail being a case in point. This is due in no small part to the clear production and tightness of the playing by all, especially drummer Matte Modin who whilst a technically proficient player for sure, focuses on keeping things solid as a rock for the rest of the band to lock into. Yes, the playing by all is certainly impressive with some compelling soloing from guitarists Fredrik Folkare and Victor Brandt too, opener The Emperor demonstrating the point perfectly. As mentioned earlier Shadow Realms is quite an immediate album and could even appeal to fans of less extreme metal down to the memorable hooks if it wasn’t for L G Petrov’s low guttural growl.

Shadow Realms won’t be the most original or extreme death metal album you’ll have heard from 2015. However due in a large part to the sheer consistency of the songs and some incredibly enthralling and exhilarating riffing it is one of my favourites that has me hitting the repeat button. Hopefully this isn’t just a one off project and they’ll be more to come in the future.

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