Returning with their fourth album, Absolvere, Pennsylvania death metal maulers Signs of the Swarm pull no punches as they hurtle out of the starting gate and straight into the pulverizing opener “Hymns ov Invocation.” A ferocious introduction to the album, it’s safe to say that Absolvere isn’t going to be a pretty listen.

Their second album to feature the delightful vocal talents of Dave Simonich, Absolvere sees the frontman deliver another top-notch performance. Whether Simonich is howling horrifying screams or saliva-dripping gutturals, listening to him roar and spew his way through the festering “Totem” or the sludgy terror of “Revelations ov a Silent King,” this is a jaw-dropping performance and one that is thankfully matched by some A-game musicianship. However, if you dig your way through the rotten outer layer, you’ll find so much more to Absolvere than just unapologetic, face-stoving heaviness.

There is a sinister air about tracks like “Hollow Prison” featuring the sublime howls of Despised Icon frontman Alex Erian while the following track, “Blood Seal,” featuring Ben Duerr of Shadow of Intent, is nothing short of monstrous in its delivery. For the most part, while Absolvere is pure bile-churning filth, there are moments where the Pennsylvania outfit reins in the rage with a dash of clean vocals as demonstrated on “Dreaming Desecration.” However those are fleeting moments but much more prevalent throughout this album is the depth, the ominous atmosphere and the savage musicianship which combine with that guttural fury to create something quite magnificent.

“Death Whistle” brings the hammer down on this album in brutal style and with the band slowing the sound down to a snail’s pace, and Simonich digging up the last unholy retches up from the hellish depths of his gut, the brilliant yet utterly unpleasant Absolvere finishes in as disturbing a fashion as it started.

Absolvere Track Listing:

1. Hymns ov Invocation
2. Boundless Manifestations
3. Dreaming Desecration
4. Totem
5. Nameless
6. Absolvere
7. Revelations ov a Silent King
8. Hollow Prison (ft. Alex Erian)
9. Blood Seal (ft. Ben Duerr)
10. Death Whistle

Run Time: 40:20
Release Date: September 24, 2021
Record Label: Unique Leader

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.