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in 1280 x 960 resolution
Before the highlight of my further forays into old school death metal this year that was One With The Dead, Graveyard prepared the unsuspecting public and Spain at large with the release of Into The Mausoleum, essentially their demo with a couple of intro/ outro tracks slapped on and a Death cover track.
Being a demo, ItM doesn't benefit from a Dan Swanö production job, and although Swanö kept OWtD sounding classily old school it also sounded incredibly clear and vivid. This so-called EP suffers from a little muddiness, preventing some of the already well-developed abilities of the band from being represented; the energetic drum performance suffers particularly. Mind you, some old school DM-heads will probably consider that a plus, so it would be a bit misleading to dock too many points for that.
The band already showed signs of being diverse songwriters; no two tracks here sound the same. The title track distinguishes itself with creaking guitar riffs and tastefully implemented background synths which build to a prodigious guitar solo, a morbid and miserable piece of death metal. 'Ritual' makes more use of frenzied leads complemented by Julkarn's ghostly growl. 'One of Them' is the most exciting thing on offer, with thrash riffs giving way to a noodling guitar build and back into the knife-edge riffs again. The guitar is not compromised by the mix, piercing through the foggy production with a reverbed yet razorsharp sound.
The cover of 'Zombie Ritual' by Death is unfortunately quite lacking, the first time I've really caught Graveyard off guard. It isn't unbearable, it's very capably executed, but they are obviously more comfortable and enthusiastic with their own material.
Graveyard really kicked their songwriting into gear and tightened up their playing for One With the Dead, which is an absolute beauty and should be your very first priority with this band. If you already have it, Into the Mausoleum contains four more original Graveyard tracks and should certainly tickle your fancy, despite the despensible interludes and cover.