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When a band has spent the better part of 5 years honing and developing a sound that results in a very well received debut album, the next step involves a highly consequential fork in the road with two obvious choices, namely get busy creating using the same winning formula or try to anticipate a new formula catching on based on existing trends. Following Grave's highly consequential offering to the early Swedish death metal scene in 1991, they opted for the former approach, which makes a strong degree of sense given that the Swedish scene was still fairly young and there was little going on in the way of drastic stylistic evolution. A little less than a year to the date of their debut hitting shelves, these mad Swedes rolled out a near equally formidable yet also extremely predictable follow up in You'll Never See... that does all but function as a perfect mirror reflection of Into The Grave.
To be clear, every single has a certain degree of development and even some contrast relative to its predecessor, and this album does have an identity of its own despite minimal stylistic change occurring. A good analogy when comparing this album to Grave's stellar debut, while obviously not perfect, would be the Leprosy to their Scream Bloody Gore, and to a small extent also their South Of Heaven to their Reign In Blood. Though still quite thrashing and fast, there is a greater degree of slower breaks in the mayhem with haunting dissonance that paints most of these songs, which are individually a tad bit longer in length, and the tone is just a tad bit murkier and muddier, ergo a bit closer to what is now generally regarded as death metal removed from its thrash roots. Truth be told, the only thing that has not been varied at all is Jörgen's deep and nasty barks, which lean a bit closer to the NYDM degree of auditory inhumanity.
Perhaps the only real thing that somewhat holds these songs back when compared with the frenetic goodness of Into The Grave is that there is just a tad bit more repetition than needed. Some of this is mitigated by a greater level of spoken sections and lyrical additives to avoid outright monotony, and there are a few key moments where atmospheric keyboards are employed to an effect somewhat comparable to what occurs on Death's Human and Darkthrone's Soulside Journey, but it is still noticeable. Then again, this reliance on repetition tends to work fairly well on certain songs, such as the mildly Cannibal Corpse sounding bruiser of a final song "Christi(ns)anity" and its even more thick and trudging cousin "Severing Flesh", both of which have a sort of twisted melodic sense to the riff work at times. Interestingly enough, while still fairly frenzied and Kerry King oriented, the lead guitar work has taken on a bit more of an atmospheric relationship with the rest of the music, and often takes a slightly more tactful approach of building to a massive explosion of notes.
Generally this album will tend to be either dismissed or downplayed because it didn't really expand the horizons of the sub-genre, but considering that Death's Human and Nocturnus' early offerings were only just starting to play around at the fringes of the style a year or two before, and that the brutality of bands like Immolation and Deicide were perhaps only slightly greater than what is found here, it is quite unfair to retroactively minimize it. It definitely falls more into the tried and true category of death metal, but insofar as sheer potency and competency are concerned within the framework of old school death metal, this is an extremely impressive display of aggression. Innovation is arguably an overrated thing when considering where this band and many others in the Stockholm scene would end up in the years following this.
Few pleasurable riffs but more tiresome ones, quite unclean guitars, thick but disturbing tone, quite weak rhythm, good vocals, these are what this album has to give. Is this Grave’s most compelling release? If yes, this signifies Grave as a mediocre group, as this release is just middle-of-the-road. These guys play death metal in veins of Dismember, Entombed and Vomitory, but tend to be lacking to reach there pretty a bit.
The guitar is creating an uneasy sound, and maybe that’s a huge factor for this. Same riffs repeat time and again, e.g. take the third track “Morbid Way to Die” for an instance, the 0:17 riff repeats in 0:48, 1:33, 2:03 and 2:48 and the one at the near end is also derived exactly from the very riff cutting its portion. Perhaps there’s more recurrence than this in other tracks, but none too concern unless the sound is actually interesting. Everything is catchy, and that may be a painful part as you would wish to skip over few of those tame rhythms haunting you.
There is handful of good riffs as well here and there, like at the opening of “Now and Forever”. This one resembles the aforementioned “Morbid Way to Die” riff to a huge degree.
The drums are rather simple but get more of my credit than rest of the instrumentations. At few points, the rawness of production isn’t letting a smooth listen to the double basses. Tempo changes are common and there are numerous headbangable parts.
Overall, it’s an average one. I’ll be forgetting about this after a while.
The aggression and intensity that characterize death metal derive from energetic rhythms; and without a tight rhythm section, there's no way to play this style of music effectively. Case in point: You'll Never See by Grave.
The rhythm guitar, placed at the fore of the mix, forges a massive wall of sound, which might have been an asset if it was well played, but instead it rumbles uncontrollably as the listener is subjected to sloppy renditions of tiresome riffs that always seem to repeat exactly eight times. And one can discern a dissonance between the rhythm guitar and the other instruments on occasion; whether from a premeditated lean on the whammy bar to impart a little more "evil" to the sound, or purely by accident, I can't say; but the result is unpleasantly grating.
The drums are played none too precisely either, and the same backbeat snare pattern seems to appear in every song; an overuse exacerbated by a dearth of tempo variation throughout the album. The lyrics are growled at a measured pace, with a few spoken parts thrown in.
The closing track is perhaps the best this album has to offer, as the instruments combine to build a bit of harmonic tension that the previous 7 songs seem to lack. But even so, it still suffers from the instrumentation flaws detailed above, and isn't really entertaining enough to redeem this weak album.
Grave are back after the furious debut album “Into The Grave” with this new killer effort. In my opinion this is the last great album they recorded, because with the following “Soulless” they began to play a form of doom Swedish death metal. Well, not properly doom but extremely slow and a bit boring for my tastes. Anyway “You’ll Never See…” album is fucking brutal again! The production is raw and clearer than on the first album and the songwriting is more mature.
The title track as opener, is the true killer song here. The riffs are awesome for some pure headbanging and the extremely rotten break in the central part is incredible. The band seems was passing through a period of changes in the music style in my opinion: there is always the brutality of the first album but the tempo parts are less fast with an eye to the future evolution. “Now And Forever” is a good example of what I said: the guitars riffs are always fast but the drummer slows down a bit, except for the bass drum.
Probably they wanted to focus their attention on the extremely obscure melodies, like in “Morbid Way To Die” (with a good up tempo during the guitar solo). The refrains are always extremely catchy, not inconsistent like in “Soulless” album, and true fucking good for you neck…The growls are far more powerful and rotten than in their first effort and they seem to come out directly from the underground. “Obsessed” starts fast with some up tempo parts to become obscurely mid-paced, with a fast bass drum. The tempo changes are numerous, and some synth sounds contribute in creating a true obscure aura.
“Grief” song starts as a mid tempo to become an up one. The drums sound is raw and the guitars are like chainsaw in their distortion, in pure Swedish style. At this point my neck is begging for mercy but with “Severing Flesh” I cannot relax: the growls here are inhuman and the whole song is fantastic with some arpeggios and tremolos in the final part. “Brutally Deceased”: already from the title you should understand everything…pure old school Swedish fury with some hellish up tempo sections.
With the dark guitar lines and dismembering up tempo in “Christi(ns)anity” we reach the way out to this nightmare called “You’ll Never Nee…”. An incredibly obscure album…one of the gloomiest I’ve ever listen to. A pleasure for every death metal fan…buy it without fear.
This is the Grave many folks grew up with - Sandstrom's vicious naturally brutal growl, catchy riffs that only surface during the chorus, and drumming that, while not brutally fast, still beats the bejeezus out of their later releases.
However, the increased speed and brutality doesn't necessarily make for more memorable songs, and that is the only reason I give this album an 80. I love it, it is near and dear to my heart, and most Grave fans will agree that it is probably in the top two of what they put out, but there are definitely some repetitive tracks in here.
What you do have is some great Old Skool Swedish death, by one of the most enduring bands in the genre. The title song is awesome, just try to avoid necksnappage as Jorgen cookie-monsters, "Heeere, taaaake my haaaaaaand, and walk with me, until the eeeeeennnd...." Wonderful stuff, and the lyrics for this album also provide a good amount of laughter, given some serious grammatical errors and misspellings ala Swedish guys talking about evil stuff. Reading the booklet makes me imagine a bunch of big, hairy characters in black T-shirts in a classroom (sitting in kids' desks), being taught by an obnoxious old woman in spectacles.
TEACHER: OK, class, today's lesson in English for death metal bands is blasphemy. Did everyone look over today's vocabulary lesson?"
CLASS: Yes, teacher.
TEACHER: Ola, let's here a sentence using three of today's blasphemy words.
OLA: Blind you are and dead you'll be, your faith is Christinsanity!
TEACHER: Very good, Ola!
Enough of that. Though Christinsanity is probably my favorite song on here, for all the thrown in laughter and slowed-down prayer, which creates a great atmosphere for lyrics like the above.
Other great tracks include Brutally Deceased, Now and Forever, and Morbid Way to Die, and hey, that's four of eight tracks anyway. The rest are good, just not stick - in - your - head good. A must have for Grave fans or lovers of Swedish death, and not that melodic crap. GRAVE FOREVER!
Grave followed their classic Debut, "Into the Grave" with an equally fearsome, if less recognized album entitled: "You'll Never See...” Grave, for the uninitiated, play Swedish death metal in the vein of Entombed and Dismember, but with a heavier and more malevolent feel.
The songs on "You'll Never See..." are constructed of simple riffs and relatively straightforward compositions, technical death metal, they are not. Grave's charm instead lies in the conviction of their delivery rather than their instrumental prowess. Every song is in fused with an all-consuming, yet organic heft and seething brutality. The tracks are a mix of mid-paced chugging, slow grooves and occasional bursts of speed. The vocals are a fairly deep, guttural growl, but not entirely indecipherable. The drumming is simple but effective, with liberal use of double bass. Guitar solos are short, uncluttered affairs, competent and well placed, but not overly heroic.
The production on “You'll Never See...” is, like the debut, a product of Sunlight Studios. This time around, things are a little clearer but still quite heavy and not overly polished or compressed.
What makes this album great is that Grave’s reach never exceeds their grasp. Grave set out to create a brutally heavy, evil death metal record, and they succeed in spades. The album flows seamlessly from one thick slab of death to the next with unrelenting power. In short, “You’ll Never See...” is a crushing classic.