Under The Church has been releasing albums for the last three years or so, and the band’s latest for Pulverised Records, called Supernatural Punishment, is a breath of fresh air for crust/punk/old-school death metal fans who can’t get enough of the style.

The guys don’t break ground with the approach they maintain on this album, but Under The Church rock the d-beat 4/4 time signature approach with punk attitude and deft playing. They don’t permanently knock off doing double-kick drumming, as they exhibit in some slower sections when the solos kick in. They don’t go full blast mode at all throughout the record, but that is offset by the uptempo pace and intensity they use to help maintain energy and enjoyment for death metal fans the world over.

Stockholm beat even makes some cameo here, but it does only seldom. The rhythm guitar is a key or so less buzzsaw than the original buzzsaw Swedish death metal albums in the subgenre’s heyday, but it does present as more punk-rock edged and is a welcome distinction.

The vocals are also a welcome diversion from old Swedish death metal tradition, sounding more Johnny Rotten than Matti Karkl. Kudos to the band for the aggressive but enunciated vocal style that few death metal bands utilize convincingly nowadays.

Never frantic, always steady, rocking, punk crust death metal of great quality, Under The Church’s Supernatural Punishment won’t bowl over fans of doom or stoner/sludge metal, but what it will do is entertain fans of the sub-genres mentioned closely resembling their style of play. Death metal, in general, has seen a great infusion of the doom/death style lately and Swedish death metal needs a turn at rejuvenation. With a new line-up refreshed by the addition of new members, Under The Church revitalizes Swedish death metal without sounding too typical.

The songs retain a certain catchiness and accessibility in spite of Supernatural Punishment being Under The Church’s most original-sounding record yet. Swedish death metal fans and fans of rocking, sing-along death metal fun, in general, will appreciate this recording. For a first sample that will whet your appetite for more Under The Church, try track five, entitled “Vitalizing Funeral”. Supernatural Punishment isn’t destined to be just that for a listener interested in sampling their music. Although they’ve released EPs and splits in the past, this is only their sophomore full-length album and is their best so far.

Supernatural Punishment Track Listing:

01. The Stygian Horror 03:53
02. Supernatural Punishment 02:59
03. Ancient Ritual 03:27
04. Staircase To Hell 03:00
05. Vitalizing Funeral 03:19
06. The Death Of Innocence 03:10
07. Crypt Of Pelvises 02:59
08. Wretched Disfigurement 03:58
09. Silence Of The Shadows 03:17

Run Time: 30:02
Release Date: November 10, 2017

Check out a full stream of the full Supernatural Punishment album.