Tomas Åkvik: Vocals / Guitar
Niklas "Nille" Sandin: Guitar
Chris Barkensjö: Drums
Joakim "Myre" Antman: Bass
Sweden has long been held in high regard as one of the hotbeds of global death metal. With their third full-length, Stockholm's Lik only add fuel to this fire. "The title of the record is Misanthropic Breed, because it describes the world today and the generations that are emerging," states vocalist/guitarist Tomas Åkvik. "In a way it's more applicable than ever with the quote 'It's every man for himself' being so suitable, and it's also a 'hidden' homage to both Dismember and Entombed."
The quartet - rounded out by guitarist Niklas "Nille" Sandin, drummer Chris Barkensjö and bassist Joakim "Myre" Antman - who take their name from the Swedish word for 'Corpse', had their work cut out for them following up their career best, 2018's Carnage. "Carnage is still a record that we are really proud of, it's a lot of cool songs that brings you right back down memory lane to where it all began even though they were newly recorded, and we played a lot of cool gigs and met a lot of really nice people touring it." They had no specific plan going into the writing sessions for what would become Misanthropic Breed, just to "write new Lik songs with the ambition of kicking the older albums' asses." Having made his recording debut with 2019's STHLM Death Metal EP, this was Antman's first full-length with Lik and his presence only improved the great ideas the band were coming up with. "The feeling of Misanthropic Breed is that it goes from sometimes very melodic stuff to very dark and eerie landscapes. We still have the 'Iron Maiden' feeling but I think it's a lot darker at times. Sound-wise it's more brutal but still very clear and you can hear what's going on almost all the time, and the songs have a more mature feeling and are more straightforward."
Far darker in tone and with fewer jokes than included on their previous releases, when it came to lyrical subject matter the band were influenced partially by movies and books, but most of their inspiration came from looking back at their own catalogue. "The songs are inspired by older Lik songs, and where we could take a new direction from that. Of course there are other bands that we love involved as well, but for example, "Female Fatal to the Flesh" is an evolved take on "The Deranged" from Carnage mixed with "Skin Necrosis" from Mass Funeral Evocation (2015) while "The Weird" is an even more brutal "Ghoul" from the same record. Then there's "Corrosive Survival" which was inspired by the disaster of Chernobyl, and "Morbid Fascination" is like a Metallica/Entombed/Dismember track which turned out really cool. I think the main inspiration is still drawn from old school death metal, which we think is how death metal should be played." Having planned to track the record at Stockholm's Solna Studio's the band's intentions were derailed by the Covid-19 lockdowns, and they were forced instead to record it at their rehearsal space, but this did not prove to its detriment. "The question as to whether what we're doing is good enough gnaws at us through the whole process when we make an album, and it was frustrating sometimes that things didn't work out the way we wanted, but I think our producer Lawrence Mackrory (Obey Mastering) did an awesome job of pulling us through the whole thing. So all credit goes to him." Given the quality of the finished product and the fact they have superseded all of their previous recordings the quartet really should not have worried if what they were doing was up to their high standard, and it opens the door to the next exciting phase in the existence of one of Sweden's heaviest exports.