Afflicted – re-release of the debut album Set For September 2nd

Afflicted debuted when the Swedish metal scene was crawling with Entombed and Unleashed clones, all far from any originality. The Stockholm five-piece had a different approach towards death metal – they offered complex and intriguing music, reaching far beyond the typical Swedish school of metal. Their first and most acclaimed album – “Prodigal Sun” – was a groundbreaking release, unfortunately overshadowed by the flood of other death metal bands at that time. Now you have the chance to experience the genius of Afflicted, who were often compared to such icons as Pungent Stench, Atrocity, Atheist and Dismember…

“Prodigal Sun” (1992) contained eleven mind-blowing tracks, ranging from slow-paced death metal monsters to fast, thrash-influenced bulldozers. Produced by Tomas Skogsberg (known from working with such known acts as Therion, At The Gates, Dark Throne, Grave and Entombed) at the legendary Studio Sunlight, the LP managed to gather a handful of inspiring ideas and cloth them in the traditional death metal suit. The material was both inspiring and extremely heavy – the compositions were far from the melodic approach used by most of the Swedish death metal bands at the beginning of the 90’s. Each track had a specific psychedelic vibe to it, backed by a complex structure that often revealed some really surprising influences, such as Arabic folk music and heavy blues-rock. Songs such as “Astray”, “Tidings From the Blue Sphere” and “The Empty Word” perfectly show the extreme variety of this material. All this forms a truly memorable experience, one of the few found on the early 90’s Swedish metal scene…

Metal Mind Productions will re-release “Prodigal Sun” on 7th July 2008 in Europe and 2nd September 2008 in USA. New digipak edition is limited to 2000 numerated copies. Digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc.

Afflicted
“Prodigal Sun” (remastered)

Label: Metal Mind Records
Cat. No.: MASS CD 1190 DG
Barcode: 5907785032859
Format: CD Digipak (limited edition of 2000 numerated copies)
Genre: death metal
Release date: 07.07.2008 Europe / 02.09.2008 USA

Tracklist:

1. Prodigal Sun
2. Harbouring The Soul
3. In Years To Come
4. Tidings From The Blue Sphere
5. The Empty Word
6. Astray
7. Rising To The Sun
8. Spirit Spectrum
9. The Doomwatcher’s Prediction
10. Consumed in Flames
11. Ivory Tower

Bio
The band was formed in 1988 on the ruins of a thrash group called Defiance. At first they used the moniker Afflicted Convulsion but soon shortened it to Afflicted. The same year Joakim Broms (vocals), Jesper Thorsson (guitar), Philip Von Segebaden (bass), Joacim Carlsson (guitar) and Yasin Hillborg (drums) begun working on their early material and in 1990 they debuted with a 2-track single called “Ingrained”. After a couple more demo releases Afflicted got noticed by Nuclear Blast Records, who included their track “In Years To Come” on a 4-way slit with Hypocrisy, Sinister and Ressurection in 1992. Soon after the band released the EP “Wanderland” for Relapse Records, but eventually signed a deal with Nuclear Blast, as they already agreed to put out Afflicted’s debut LP.
Preceded by a single called “Rising To The Sun”, the band’s debut album hit the stores on December 1st, 1992. “Prodigal Sun” contained eleven mind-blowing tracks, ranging from slow-paced death metal monsters to fast, thrash-influenced bulldozers. Produced by Tomas Skogsberg (known from working with such known acts as Therion, At The Gates, Dark Throne, Grave and Entombed) at the legendary Studio Sunlight, the LP managed to gather a handful of inspiring ideas and cloth them in the traditional death metal suit. The material was both inspiring and extremely heavy – the compositions were far from the melodic approach used by most of the Swedish death metal bands at the beginning of the 90’s. Each track had a specific psychedelic vibe to it, backed by a complex structure that often revealed some really surprising influences, such as Arabic folk music and heavy blues-rock. Songs such as “Astray”, “Tidings From the Blue Sphere” and “The Empty Word” perfectly show the extreme variety of this material. The extraordinary mood is strengthened by Broms’ intensive vocals, ranging from typical death metal grunts to expressive clean singing. Often Broms sounds like a madman locked in a safe jacket, which only adds up to the disturbing climate of the album. While sometimes his vocals may sound a bit unusual for this type of music, in the end they perfectly bond with the complex musical content. Instead of focusing on hate and disgust, the lyrics on “Prodigal Sun” deal mostly with political issues and criticism of contemporary civilization – themes rather new to death metal. All this forms a truly memorable experience, one of the few found on the early 90’s Swedish metal scene…
Unfortunately, metal fans at that time preferred the more melodic structures of extreme music and thus Afflicted was lost among many other death metal hordes. The band decided to change their stylistics and in 1995 they returned with a power metal album “Dawn of Glory”, recorded with a new singer – Michael Van Der Graaf. Unfortunately, the LP was nowhere close to the stunning debut and was a major letdown for most fans. Soon after this release the group disbanded…
With so many dull death metal albums released in the 90’s, “Prodigal Sun” burns with a strong and powerful flame, offering a complex and memorable metal experience. This well-hidden Swedish metal treasure has been locked way too long in the dark – it’s time for it to burn your soul!

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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