Death is Certain, Life is Not

Label: Spinefarm/Triada
Three similar bands: Sentenced/Mustasch/Foo Fighters
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Review: Caj Källmalm
1. When the world is gone
2. The Fallen ones
3. Dead inside
4. Endeavor the dark
5. Legion
6. I am your God
7. Walk into the fire
8. The Enemy
9. Death is certain, life is not
10. Ad Viventes
11. When death comes

Fredrik Weileby (Vocals)
Calle Johannesson (Guitars)
Anders Åberg (Drums)
Johan Carlsson (Bass)
Magnus Eronen (Guitars)

Angels of Vengeance (2001)
Into the Sewers (2003)
Banisher of the Light (2007)
In Voodoo Veritas (2009)
Folie à cinq (2011)


Produced by Rikard Löfgren & Sparzanza
Recorded at Leon Music

Released 26/9-2012
Reviewed 5/10-2012


I never knew that 42 minutes could pass so fast. And the cause of these 42 rapid minutes are the new Sparzanza album 'Death Is Certain. Life Is Not', which is kind of a surprise to me as the last album I heard from this Swedish quartet was their 2009 album 'In Voodoo Veritas' because all though I liked that album it tended to feel a bit long in the end (despite being considerably shorter than this album). Now I haven't heard the album that came last year but since my last Sparzanza experience the band has obviously found a way to keep me entertained for 42 minutes without problems and as the album ends I actually feel I want more of this music.

The title is pretty deep if you consider it from a philosophical point of view because as the title say we can't take life for granted because it's so easily taken from us and the only thing certain with a life is that we'll face death sometime. But also the music feels deep, but in another way. One could say Sparzanza covers the whole Empire State Building from the top balcony and down to the parking garage in the bottom with this album because both music and vocals have some great variation in them but without getting all over the place. In fact the whole album feels like one big song, but not in the bad kind of way where the same thing is repeated endlessly but just like it was a big picture with different things to look at and the more you look the more you see. And talking about pictures we have the interesting cover art for 'Death Is Certain. Life Is Not' with the classic scene from the Bergman movie The Seventh Seal where death plays chess with Max Von Sydow. Here we don't see death or Sydow, only two forearms with one looking suspiciously much like the arm of death and the other like the hand of God. A very pretty cover art and kind of deep too, like the rest of the album.

The opening track is called When The World Is Gone and immidietly the band sets a high standard. The sound is better than their Voodoo album, that's noticeable already from the beginning, but otherwise it sounds pretty much the same. however, as the tracks go by you'll soon notice how much the song writing has improved in only a few years. Somehow the songs are more coherent but also more varied and the album isnät even close to get monotonous or boring. The music is heavy and hard like really bad ass heavy metal with vocals doing everything from cheesy boy bandish song to insane demonic shouts, all though it's mostly something in between. One could call it a typical voice in hard rock and to mention a few voices to make you get how Weileby sounds I can name drop Curt Cobain and Dave Grohl.

Most of the songs on 'Death Is Certain. Life Is Not' have a certain touch of hit feel, all though I think it's a bit too heavy to really work in that true main stream line that commercial radio plays for the dummies that listen to their channels. And honestly I think the album is a bit too deep and thoughtful for them as well. But not in the sense that it's complicated and hard to understand, but deep and thoughtful in a clever and intelligent matter. And they've executed this very well. You get everything from the fast and heavy opening track When The World Is Gone to the soft and slow closer When Death Is Gone because in between these songs I think you get more or less everything you'd ask for from a heavy metal band, and well done as well.

If you demand me to say something negative about the album I'd say it's a bit too heavy for it's own good, seen to the characteristics of the songs - but that's a matter of taste and not really a complain actually. I think that 'Death Is Certain. Life Is Not' is a well made and really good album both overall and in close review. I really recommend this album because I think it will be a great addition in many record collections out there - especially in those consisting of mostly heavy metal and hard rock in the heavier kind of way. High five!



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