Entombed are extreme metal pioneers from Sweden that started off as straight-ahead death metal before morphing into a sort of death-&-roll concoction as they progressed. Clandestine was their second album, and it took the speed and brutality of debut Left Hand Path and added more mid-tempo, thrash metal grooves, with more distinct rock-&-roll song structures. Their Wolverine Blues album, their 3rd, was already one of my favorite metal albums for its sheer massive heaviness and catchiness before purchasing Clandestine, and I'd be hard-pressed to tell you which one I enjoy more, to be honest. Clandestine is by far the more "evil" and "metal" sounding of the two, and in many ways it's a perfect combination of the death-&-roll perfected on WB and the death metal onslaught of LHP.
My Take: Highly recommended for any death and thrash metal fans, although you probably already knew that, as it's widely regarded as an all-time classic, and for good reason.
Standout Tracks: Hard to pick standouts on an album that contains literally zero filler material, but here are my favorites of the bunch - "Living Dead," "Evilyn" (simply for the Masters of the Universe reference in the name...), "Stranger Aeons" (which later appeared on 1997's Entombed album), "Crawl"
Satyricon hail from the mighty frostbitten forests of unholy doomy demonic NORWAY!!! and are, of course, a Norwegian black metal band widely regarded as pioneers and masters of the scene. Their current material, much like Entombed, has taken on a much more rock-&-roll slant, to which many fans have resented and labeled the band sellouts. While I am a fan of the band's earlier black metal work, in particular the majestic Nemesis Divina, their current material is still well-written, catchy as hell metal in this writer's humble opinion. Rebel Extravaganza was an album written in the sort of "in-between" period for the band, in that it began to showcase their more industrial and rock-&-roll influences, while still maintaining a solid black metal base.
Satyr's nasty vocal croak is in full effect, and the album's production only further emphasizes how truly wicked this man can sound. Let's not forget the riffs. The clever usage of harmonics, tremelo picking, and punkish chord progressions keep this album interesting throughout, something that sometimes got lost on Nemesis Divina. The alternating structures also highlight even further the fact that drummer Frost is one of the best metal drummers on the planet (a fact sadly hidden by the band's more simplistic material nowadays, some say). This is by far Satyricon's most diverse release, and that can either be good or bad, depending on what you expect from your black metal bands.
My Take: In my opinion, Satyricon had mastered the "Second Wave" of black metal sound (also perfected by Emperor on Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk) on ND, and this album was a necessary bridge towards the monster they have become today. The lack of keyboards, emphasis on the raw power of the music, and overall visual concept of the layout took the band in another direction -- a direction that I view as a complete artistic success.
Standout Tracks: "Filthgrinder", "Havoc Vulture", "Supersonic Journey", "Tied in Bronze Chains"