ENTOMBED’s Influential Left Hand Path Debut Turns 30 - “I’m Smiling Every Time People Say It”

June 4, 2020, a month ago

By “Metal” Tim Henderson

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ENTOMBED’s Influential Left Hand Path Debut Turns 30 - “I’m Smiling Every Time People Say It”

Today (June 4th) marks the 30th anniversary (1990) of one of the key death metal releases of all time, Entombed’s glorious grinding debut Left Hand Path. Recorded at the famed Sunlight Studios in Stockholm by owner/producer Tomas Skogsberg, the album established that patented Sunlight buzzsaw guitar sound around Alex Hellid and Uffe Cederlund’s punishing riffs, while Lars-Göran Petrov’s gurgling vocals and Nicke Andersson's pounding percussion rounded off the frenzied affair that has influenced thousands of metalheads around the world.

In a BraveWords flashback from 2016, Petrov says he’s proud to continuously hear the remarks about its influence.

“I’m smiling every time people say it,” he says with a grin. “Somehow you know it, but when people say it, you go ‘yeah’! That cross (the Entombed Cross at Skogskyrkogården Cemetery) is just two subway stations from my house. It was the photographers' idea at the time. And it was snowing calmly. But it’s iconic, it’s a great fucking picture. We recorded and mixed Left Hand Path in five days. Sometimes it’s better when you don’t think too much, you go with the first or second take and say ‘sounds good.’ You can dwell on a song for ten years and still in the end you go back to the original first take. We actually just began to use that philosophy now. With Left Hand Path, it was pretty well rehearsed. Before that we did the Nihilist demos and stuff. But as you get older, you think more. And that can be good and bad. With the new records, if it sounds good just take it! And it sounds good to record a record live. Some overdubs here and there. But first impressions last.”

When asked if there were any talks with Earache about doing something special with the catalog, Petrov answered: “No, we aren’t thinking about that right now, because we are too occupied with the new stuff. And Earache has done a couple of reissue things over and over again. Nah. What is done is done. And art’s great stuff. You don’t have to fix it.”

BraveWords: How do you think it has weathered over time?

Petrov: “It still lasts.”

BraveWords: Some of your fans weren’t even born when they came out!

Petrov: “Yes, they were taught by their dads! But the legacy goes on. There are a lot of people who don’t have a clue who we are. But there are new waves of metal people coming all time and that’s cool.”

(Entombed live photo by Mark Gromen)

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