The Lurking Fear – “Vortex Spawn”

It can be pretty hard to draw a meaningful distinction between “extreme metal” vocalists, even if you’ve got a decent familiarity with the genre. That’s why, for instance, Mayhem have had SIX vocalists (and five LPs!) and there’s not even an established consensus on which of those people is the band’s “classic” singer. Is it Maniac? Or Dead? Or Attila? I honestly don’t know. In any case, there are a few exceptions to the overall anonymity among extreme-metal “frontmen,” and that scarcity makes such singers all the more notable. We can all share our personal faves in the comments, but in my opinion, the all-time absolute greatest extreme-metal vocalist is Sweden’s Tomas “Tompa” Lindberg, who’s best known for his work with At The Gates.

Not JUST At The Gates, though. Because Lindberg is such an incredible vocalist (and the best dude), he’s in pretty high demand and has fronted more than a dozen bands in his life, including five that are active today. Two of those bands — Disfear and the aforementioned At The Gates — are working on material now, as far as I know, and I truly can’t wait for new albums from both. But he’s got a whole brand-new project, too, called the Lurking Fear, and that album is done, ready to drop this summer. I got an advance a little while ago and lemme tell you, it’s not just holding me over till ATG and Disfear come back: It flat-out fucking RULES.

Along with Lindberg, the Lurking Fear’s lineup is made up of dudes from some classic Swedish d-beat/death bands — namely Disfear, God Macabre, and Skitsystem — and the Lurking Fear’s debut album, Out Of The Voiceless Grave, delivers basically exactly what you’d expect from a band with that pedigree: old-school buzzsaw-guitar Gothenburg-style melodic death metal with an ugly punk crust. The band just dropped the LP’s lead single, “Vortex Spawn,” and it’s a pretty great way to close out the month, even if it came in too late to make it onto our list of the month’s best new metal songs. If I don’t see it on that list at the end of next month, me and Doug are gonna have words. I’m pretty sure it won’t come to that, though. Doug loves Tompa, too, and even if he didn’t, it wouldn’t much matter. You can’t fucking deny this one. Go ahead. Try.

Out Of The Voiceless Grave is out 8/11 via Century Media.