Album Review: Signs of the Swarm – Absolvere (Unique Leader Records)

Pennsylvanian death metal five-piece Signs of The Swarm crash back onto the scene with their fourth full-length offering Absolvere via Unique Leader on 24th September 2021.

Talk about attention grabbing! Signs of the Storm come screaming out of the pits of hell with furious death metal righteousness. An opener that is bone-crunching in regards to heavy output but is also layered with blackness and reaches slam levels of guttural. It will make you feel a little bit nauseous.

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Rasping vehemence, gurgling speed and a short melodic drop that leads to a short but razor-sharp guitar makes Boundless Manifestations stand out. Signs of the Swarm continue to take hold of skulls and smash them into walls as Dreaming Desecrations has them spitting and screaming absolute bloody murder. This is less ‘playing’ instruments and more ‘hitting them as hard as possible and seeing what comes out’. However, it’s also in this track that we get a significant shift – namely, clean vocals and melody! It’s unexpected but certainly not unwelcome!

Forget melody and clean singing on Totem though. This is a track all about the heavy with a pounding and speedy drum beat, flesh-stripping guitars and eviscerating vocals. The same goes for the following Nameless but here, there’s a sharp technicality to the guitars and the tempo is constantly shifting and moving, too much joy.

It’s joyful because for all their out and out aggression, which is wonderful, it shows layers and detail, Signs of the Swarm can squeal and scream with the best of them but also have the talent to make your death-addled mind take note of their more intricate niceties.

Talking of which… the title track’s slower instrumental pace is the descent into madness. A wonderful mid-point offering before Revelations ov a Silent King delivers haunting atmosphere and unrestrained ruthlessness. One of the most head-smashing tracks on an album that is pretty packed with them!

A couple of guest then feature as we get Despised Icon’s Alex Erain on Hollow Prison and Ben Duerr of Shadow Of Intent/Hollow Prophet on Blood Seal. Guess what? Both tracks are fucking savage. Unrelenting death metal freshened up by two incredible talents meaning the finale of Death Whistle won’t find you numb to one last blast of fury from Signs of the Swarm.

Aside from the absolute kicking they’ve just dished out.

Signs of the Swarm – Absolvere Full 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




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Signs of the Swarm - Absolvere (Unique Leader Records)
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