ENTOMBED — Wolverine Blues

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ENTOMBED - Wolverine Blues cover
3.98 | 33 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1993

Filed under Death 'n' Roll


1. Eyemaster (3:20)
2. Rotten Soil (3:26)
3. Wolverine Blues (2:14)
4. Demon (3:19)
5. Contempt (4:33)
6. Full of Hell (3:22)
7. Blood Song (3:24)
8. Hollowman (4:27)
9. Heavens Die (4:15)
10. Out of Hand (3:07)

Total Time: 35:31


- Nicke Andersson / Drums, guitar
- Lars Göran Petrov / Vocals
- Uffe Cederlund / Guitar, tambourine
- Lars Rosenberg / Bass
- Alex Hellid / Guitar

About this release

Earache Records
October 1993

Produced by Entombed and Tomas Skogsberg
Engineered by Tomas Skogsberg
Recorded at Sunlight Studios, Stockholm 1992/1993

Cover art by Nicke
Art assistance: Benny Rehn, LG, Z, U, Henrik
Photo by Z, Benny Rehn, Entombed

There are three different audio versions of the album. The first one had samples in the songs "Eyemaster," "Rotten Soil," and "Out of Hand." The second (with the comic book promotion) and third versions deleted the samples, and the second also edited the song "Hollowman."

Also released with Marvel's Wolverine on cover. What's funny about this is that Entombed never wanted their album to be related to the Marvel Comics superhero; Earache Records, without their permission, made a deal with Marvel and used Wolverine to promote the album to the mainstream audience. This can explain how Entombed became a household name to rock fans.

Re-released in 1996 with the bonus track "State of Emergency."

Thanks to Time Signature, bartosso for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Entombed: one of the Big Four in Swedish death metal and the first of the four that I was to encounter on CD. Fairly recently. Like, a few months ago and nearly three decades after the band's career commenced. As with many old school death metal bands I have gotten acquainted with, I found out about Entombed by watching old school death metal playlists on YouTube. Of course, the album usually mentioned is "Left Hand Path" with some attention also going to "Clandestine". It was either of these two that I had to choose for my first purchase. Then I saw "Wolverine Blues".

Blues?! A death metal band is using the word "blues" in an album title? And Wolverine? Even at the time this album was released, the X-Men character was well known. What on earth were these Swedes up to?

So, I checked out some songs on YouTube and, well, wow! Consider this: I had been checking out a couple of dozen bands or more in a subgenre I was not too familiar with and had previously avoided. At first, everybody sounded awesome. But after a while, everybody sounded similar. I wanted to find that band or album that did something different to make it stand apart from the usual death metal environment. This album certainly did stand out.

After two death metal albums in Swedish style, Entombed decided to get into some other stuff and came up with an album that sounds like a conconction of mid-seventies Black Sabbath and Motorhead with some hardcore peppered in. In-your-face, angry biker style vocals, really growly, dirty, massive-rusty-industrial-chain guitar sound, and a rhythm section that almost swaggers, this album took a death metal band in such a new direction that they called this music "death n' roll". While the title probably was supposed to sound cool, I can't help but think of crocodiles when I hear this. Death roll!

There's little point in picking apart each song. It's just ultra-gritty guitar riffs, groove, and guts throughout with some songs capturing my attention more than others for one reason or another. I'd say the first three or four tracks and the last two are my preferred songs, but the whole album is consistent, though "Hollowman" brings in a bit of melody.

After several listens, some of the excitement of hearing the entire album has worn off, but I am still very curious about the next album, "DCLXVI: To Ride Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth". For now, "Clandestine" is on its way to my place, so I'll get to see the earlier side of the band.

Death n' roll or whatever, it was really good to hear an album that combined components of the death metal sound with more familiar, traditional stuff like Black Sabbath and Motorhead.
Though I don't think it's quite as thrilling as their first two albums, Entombed's Wolverine Blues presents an infectious and exciting brand of "death 'n' roll" which fuses death, groove and thrash metal into an enjoyable and very listenable blend. It's a very short album, which I think helps - I greatly prefer brevity to bands who feel obliged to toss half-baked ideas onto an album in order to fill the CD or LP to capacity.

As far as the different variants of the album go, I can take or leave the samples but I wouldn't recommend going for the one with the Wolverine cover unless you are a major X-Men fan because the songs were subjected to extensive tampering to make them family-friendly - and family-friendly death metal kind of misses the point.
Time Signature
Blood song...

Genre: so-called death 'n' roll

Let me start with an anecdote. Back when this album first came out, I had it on cassette and would often listen to it on my walkman while bicycling to school. One day, I was on my way to my final English exam in school, and I was listening to "Wolverine Blues" on my walkman. I came to a t-junction and had to turn right. Being fully immersed in the music, I did not notice that there was a big 4x4 with a horse trailer coming in from the left. So I went out right in front of the car, resulting in me feeling the ground shake from the vibrations from the car, and then finding myself being hurled through the air, Entombed thundering into my ears. The driver of the car, the decent person he was, stopped and came out to check if I was okay. I got on me feet and, miraculously, the only injury was some deep scraped on my hand and the pedal of my bike being slightly bent. I told him I was okay and that he shouldn't worry; it was my own fault anyway. So he moved on, and I moved on. I made it to the exam - it was a written exam - and handed in an almost illegible essay (my hands had started shaking, of course, as the adrenaline effects wore off) with blood on it from my scraped hands. I actually passed the exam with top marks. So, I have had the honor of being hit by a car, and miraculously surviving, while listening to this album... how many people can brag about that?!?

So, what about this album? It is considered the seminal album of the death 'n' roll genre, but - to be honest - I think that it's more of a type of death thrash. Entombed certainly draw on groove metal and hardcore punk and a bit on more general hardrock on this album, but I don't really hear any rock 'n' roll influences, so I think that death 'n' roll is quite a misnomer. But I think that, in any case, this musical development is interesting, because Entombed started changing their style at a time when death metal has become stagnant and, for some reason, there was a sort of restistance towards this in Sweden, and I think that both death 'n' roll and melodeath arose a reactions towards this stagnation of death metal, driven by the urge to further develop and explore the genre.

"Wolverine Blues" is basically a lecture in how to successfully combine groove thrash, crossover thrash and death metal into a very energetic and catchy yet aggressive style, and, as soon as you press play, you can't help but headbanging and moshing around like a madman in your living room. And that is because, I think, of the combination of the two very different energies of groove thrash and hardcore/crossover. While I think that many bands went overboard with the groove thing, which resulted in mediocre groove thrash, Entombed successfully developed a unique and engaging style of groove metal.

This album is simply outstanding (and a danger to traffic).

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