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Mass Worship's Gustav Eriksson and Fred Forsberg deliver a weighty dose of chug in this searing playthrough of Scorched Earth

With their crushing sophomore album, Portal Tombs, Sweden's Mass Worship deliver a spectacularly heavy collection of savage and intricately destructive material.

While the guttural vocals of frontman Claes Nordin take the spotlight, the record is driven by the high-octane, no-holds-barred electric guitar work of resident axe-slinger Gustav Eriksson.

A masterclass in mid-tempo death metal, Portal Tombs sees the Stockholm quartet build towering soundscapes of desolate grandeur, typified in its seventh track, Scorched Earth.

In this new playthrough, premiered exclusively at Guitar World, Eriksson and drummer and occasional guitarist Fred Forsberg put the track's stellar six-string lines on display, navigating its no-frills chugs and rapid alternate picking passages with surgical precision.

Gear-wise, Eriksson plays a V-style V1.6C through a 90W Mesa/Boogie Mark V guitar amp, while Forsberg wields a 27-fret A1.6ATG Baritone through a Peavey 6505. Both use 4x12 Mesa/Boogie Rectifier cabs.

Eriksson's pedalboard consists of an MXR M300 reverb pedal, Fortin Zuul+ noise gate, Fortin Grind boost, Way Huge Green Rhino overdrive MKV and Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner, while Forsberg's features a trio of Boss pedals – a TU-2, NS-2 Noise Suppressor and an MT-2 Metal Zone distortion – and an TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 reverb.

Scorched Earth is one of the more uptempo songs on our new record, and I think our punk roots shine through a lot here,” the band say.

“It's a very straightforward and aggressive track. There's not a lot of flashy things going on in terms of technicality, but it makes your head bang, and there are intricate layers lurking behind the surface you might notice after a few listens.”

  • Mass Worship's new album Portal Tombs is out now via Century Media Records.

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.