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Back To The Real Grave! - 88%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, May 12th, 2008

I told you so. I told you in the previous reviews for Grave! Fiendish Regression and, in bigger parts, As Rapture Comes, showed a re-found sense of good songwriting and old school brutality that Grave had to be in their sound to change direction, to come out from that groove menace that was destroying their music. Those albums featured a new sense of violence and malevolence they completely lost in the mid 90s albums, in my opinion. These albums were far too monotonous and with a complete loss of speed and violent parts; but with this great (also for the sense of surprise it gave to me) Dominion VIII (what a name for a great music comeback), those brutal parts are back to enjoy the old school fans like me.

If Dismember are always a pleasant confirm in this brutal metal, the Grave’s return is unbelievable surprising and welcome. You know that sense of pure happiness for a band that returned to the original sound after a period of pure musical sloppiness. To start, again the production is different from the other albums, even from As Rapture Comes. This one is far closer to the original Grave sound they had in 1991! Yes, the year of those masterpiece called “Into The Grave”. It’s truly gloomy and heavy.

The first song is “A World In Darkness”. The first long note is sufficient to introduce us in a sudden long series of up tempo. The guitars now are truly dark and violent with that rotten/doom sound. The vocals are as always in pure Swedish not excessive growls. The more mid paced parts are well balanced with fast restarts and pure tremolo picks solos in classic thrash style. The first song already made me jump on the chair and it’s not the only fast one, because after the mid paced introduction, “Fallen (Angel Son)” is even faster!

The sequence “Stained By Hate”, “Bloodpath”, and the fucking awesome “Annihilated Gods” (this last one is the highlight in my opinion) destroys everything with an awesome brutal assault of gore riffs and destructive drum work. “Annihilated Gods” could fit perfectly in their debut album for the rotten intro and the following “death metal ignorance” palm muting rotting assault. The vocals are simply sick and forget completely those horrible groove parts we could find in the past.

“Sinners Lust” doesn’t want to slow down continuing on the long road to the most pure death metal form. The down tempos that we can find in each songs now are more in “…You’ll Never See” style, mostly done by picking just one single note to create a terribly dark sound. The last two songs are more mid paced with lots always sudden up tempo fragments inside not to bore the listeners. Anyway those mid paced parts are far better than in the past.

Grave are back, folks! It’s not another “Into the Grave” but those who were waiting for another death metal return won’t be disappointed. Let the massacre begins.