Through the ’90s the Swedish Death Metal scene produced some legendary acts and albums. From Entombed and Arch Enemy through to In Flames, and At the Gates, there was just so much to digest throughout the decade. Some of the bigger names mentioned, there were also those who were a bit more underground, but still well worth discovering like Ablaze My Sorrow.
Originally formed in 1993, early on, Ablaze My Sorrow recorded a couple of demos before signing onto now defunct No Fashion Records (once the home of bands like Dark Funeral and Marduk). Where they stayed for a while, they released the albums If Emotions Still Burn in 1996, The Plague in 1998, before Anger, Hate and Fury in 2002. All very good Melodic Death Metal offers, the band would then break up in 2006, however, relaunched in 2013; going onto release the comeback album Black in 2016. A very solid return, 2021’s Among Ashes and Monoliths was perhaps even more exceptional in many regards, leading to their most recent works, 2023’s EP The Loss of All Hope.
Only their second EP ever, the other being 2009’s 2 song The Suicide Note, The Loss of All Hope arrived on January 27th through Black Lion Records with 4 new tracks. Expanding on some of what they did with Among Ashes, the songs here are diverse, dark, and nothing less than melodic perfection.
With long time members Anders Brorsson (bass), Magnus Carlsson (guitars) Alex Bengtsson (drums), and Dennie Lindén (guitars), there is also Jonas Udd; who joined on as vocalist in 2019, adding new dimensions to their music. Udd, who can provide a great Death Metal growl, also offers some really unique clean singing; this was evident on songs such as 2021’s “Black Waters.” Nonetheless, what Ablaze My Sorrow does with the songs that make up The Loss of All Hope is truly impressive.
Overall, these songs are well-paced, powerful, and miles ahead of what many others are offering presently in the genre. And if you are looking to dig deeper into Ablaze My Sorrow’s history, in April they also released a really cool limited-edition box set of their two demos through ADG Records. Plenty to discover in 2023, The Loss of All Hope is authentic, dripping with atmosphere, and hopefully a prelude to more expansive material from the band in 2024. That is why Cryptic Rock this EP 5 out of 5 stars.