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Extremely Sloppy Riffs, but a classic nevertheless - 80%

morbert, April 11th, 2007

This is another example of a great young band that – in their enthusiasm - took too little time to record and produce their debut album. They were just kids of course and all was done too hasty and carelessly. “Into the Grave” consisted of a few old demo songs (including the obscure ‘Hating Life’) and new songs. Over the years the band re-recorded other demomaterial on later albums. I wonder why they didn’t do that right away, but I am glad they did. This is simply because the production of ‘Into The Grave’ was way out of line and I prefer the sound on their ‘Anatomia Corporis Humani’ demo and the 1992 album ‘You’ll Never See’.

The guitars were tuned down too much, making the riffs sound extremely sloppy. The productional wall of guitars (prominently upfront in the mix) made this even more obvious. The drums should have been more upfront to emphasise riff and song dynamics and especially staccato parts. Furthermore the vocals had become less dynamic. Whereas they sounded really sick on earlier works, on the album they were just low and deep, losing a lot of the earlier morbid sound. To my dismay this resulted in lesser enjoyable versions of the democlassics ‘Deformed’ and the Grave traditional ‘Extremely Rotten Flesh’. The album version of the song ‘Into The Grave’ lacks the intro it had on the ‘Sick Disgust Eternal’ demo and also a section of this song had some keyboards instead of an earlier second guitar.

Okay, enough complaining. This explains why I was disappointed at first when it was released. But let’s be honoust,this album is of course a classic death metal album. Any real death metal fan just has to love’ Extremely Rotten Flesh’, ‘Haunted’, ‘Deformed’ and all those other raging pieces of old school material. Together with 1992’s ‘You’ll Never See’ this one is still an ultimate Grave album. If only the band had taken more time to record and produce it in a way that suited the material. On the other hand one could say that would haven taken away some of its intensity. Point taken, but Grave had already proved they could pull it off on their vastly superior earlier demos. It’s the knowledge that Grave could actually have done an even better job on their debut that makes me decide to give the album only 80 points.