Where The Light Comes To Die, the third release from Swedish stalwarts Bleeding Utopia, answers the important question of whether or not quality can still be derived from adherence and the answer is a very competent yes. Stylistically, Where The Light Comes To Die is a very by-the-book album that pays homage to the progenitors of Swedish melodeath whilst giving it some long-absent bite. The stellar output on display isn’t a result of breaking new ground but that doesn’t equate to a lack of confidence, which can be found in abundance on Where The Light Comes To Die.
Though it’s tempting to discard Where The Light Comes To Die in its first few seconds, once “Ascendants of Hate” kicks into high gear, all this does is illicit the realization that it’s foolish to underestimate Bleeding Utopia. Admittedly it’s easy to be dismissive of Swedish melodeath in 2019, but “Enhance My Wrath” and “Already Dead” are effective exhibits that advocate the notion that you don’t have to be.
The standout element of Where The Light Comes To Die is that it completely bypasses the pilfering that melodeath has endured since the turn of the millennium, with “Crown of Horns” and “Ill and Daunting Perversions” being some of the most well-rounded death metal you’re likely to hear all year!
It’s a given that the musicianship in melodeath is expected to be above average and Where The Light Comes To Die doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Vocalist David Ahlen’s approach is straightforward – and it’s welcoming to hear his vocals become noticeably more guttural as the album progresses – and the guitar work of Andreas Moren and Kristian Järvenpää is crisp and on point, most notably in album closer “Heralds of Hate and Defiance”. Lightly transcending the 40 minute mark, Where The Light Comes To Die doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does clean it up and mount a new tire onto it. 8/10
Where the Light Comes to Die
Black Lion Records, Spiritual Beast
Released: 22nd March 2019