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Ah good old Grave, what's not to love about them? They have been bashing their brand of no holds bared straight up style of death metal since the early days. And that's why the death metal community loves them, no pretension, no bullshit straight up crushing death metal. And with their new release Grave are firing on all cylinders here, showcasing an impressive array of dynamics all structured superbly with interesting compositions and highly memorable riff work. From the d-beat "ofta ofta" trem riffs we all know and love to morbid doom ridden slow dirges. The opening song shows what Grave are doing here with these ideas on display. The mid section in particular reminding me of "Choke on It" off Death's Leprosy album.
Ola Lindgren has to be mentioned for a superb job on the production of this album. It is easily one of the finest production jobs I have heard on a modern day death metal album. It has that old school production vibe to the mix but with a modern clean and crispness to it creating that perfect middle ground. This backs up the riffs superbly and the drum sound works so well. When Grave up the tempo and go into d-beat galore territory it really crushes you into submission.
"Passion of the Weak" was the first song Grave released before the album and it really grabbed my attention on first listen which created hype and anticipation for this release. The song in question actually has some of the most memorable riffs on the album, with a quality chorus riff backed up with some great vocal lines adding to the memorability.
The entire band are on form here and Grave have upped their game musically here. With guitar harmonies and more complex structures with varied dynamics, harmonized guitar riffs that really please the reviewers ears and some chaotic leads that are used tastefully and with a mature amount of restraint. Grave have delivered what will more than likely by my death metal album of the year. If there is any criticism to be had it is that there are some riffs that do not hit as hard as the rest of the album. The opening riff of "Disembodied Steps" bars on generic and "Flesh Epistle" takes a while to get going but this is nit picking to a certain extent.
There is nothing really more to say about this release to be honest and most of the songs are in the same vein as each other however extra credit to the band for creating an almost 8 minute epic closer which I think is a really cool move from Grave and showcasing a new side to the band after all these years.
If I had to pick highlights they would have to be the opener "Amongst Marble and Dead" with its crushing d - beat and grotesque mid section. "Passion of the Weak" for its highly memorable riffs and finally "Perimortem" with a quality opening riff packing a lot of bangabillity and a underlying thrash aesthetic.
Fans of straight up death metal are going to eat this up for breakfast and be asking for seconds. It will take something really special to top this for death metal this year, highly recommended.