Entombed – “Clandestine”

dB HoF No. 144

Label: Earache
Release date: November 12, 1991

No one has ever said, “Entombed, there’s a band that doesn’t confuse me.” Trying to follow the Swedish death metal institution’s lineup throughout the years takes more brain cells than anyone who has spent most of their life listening to Swedish death metal has left, so it’s a particularly gnarly conundrum. But you gotta do something while listening to their first two albums for the millionth time in your life, so you just keep trying. It’s a noble cause, and we’re glad that you just admitted to listening to Clandestine one million times in your life, because it’s as good as Swedish death metal can possibly get.

We were quick to induct Left Hand Path to the hallowed halls of the Hall, but Clandestine is better. There, I said it: Clandestine is better than Left Hand Path. It takes that classic album and ups the levels of songwriting, big time: Here, the band crafts songs that are just as brutal as those found on their debut (well, like, 98 percent as brutal 98 percent of the time, anyway), and adds in better structure, some intense melodies, a dash of groove, and makes it work. They created a more sophisticated death metal; they learned how to write songs to remember; they added in even more atmosphere and feeling to the tunes.

They also lied about who sung on the album, which is kinda weird (and confusing; always confusing, these guys). L-G Petrov sang on Left Hand Path and would return for album number three, Wolverine Blues, but for their second, the other members of Entombed were left without a vocalist, so they took matters into their own hands and added a new guy to Clandestine’s band photo and liner notes, even though he sung a grand total of three words on the album. But if drummer Nicke Andersson, bassist Lars Rosenberg, and guitarists Uffe Cederlund and Alex Hellid want to lie about who sung on one of the greatest death metal albums of all time, we’ll let it slide. We are, however, curious to find out more about why exactly they did that, so read on and find out as we induct this most perfect of Swedish death metal albums into our Hall of Fame; it’s long overdue, really, and we’re humbled to let Clandestine settle into its rightful place among other death metal classics in the Hall, which is exactly where it belongs.

– Greg Pratt

Got to get more Entombed? To read the entire seven-page story, with featurings interviews with all members on Clandestine, purchase the print issue from our store, or digitally via our app for iPhone/iPad or Android.