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There is no turning back... - 90%

demonomania, November 11th, 2004

How goes it metalheads, this is my first review. At first I thought it was silly to spend some of my precious time at work (ha) writing reviews for CDs that no one listens to, but when I saw the other review for Soulless I knew action had to be taken.

Grave's "Soulless" is a goddamn mid-paced death metal masterpiece. While they have toned it down a bit since the days of "You'll Never See..." in terms of speed, "Soulless" grooves along in a very funky and undeniably old - skool Swedish way. They still mix in some quick drums here and there, which have been absent from their last few releases. And this is the last one with Mr. Paulsson, whose vocals are way more evil (with little to no studio - added cruelty) than the Grave of today. The lyrics focus on good ole Satanism, digging up dead girlfriends, raping and decapitating your mother, choruses of crying angels, etc.

This album is accessible to those who don't need their death at 2000mph, and love big breakdowns. And boy is Grave great at the big breakdown, turn on "Turning Black," wait a bit for Jensa to say, "There is no...turning back," and then prepare thyself for headbanging. The beginning of the album is very strong, with the aforementioned "Turning Black," the hilariously satanic "Soulless," my favorite track 'I Need You," and the death 'n roll flavored "Bullets are Mine." And Bloodshed (which starts a trend of Grave spelling song tites incorrectly) rocks pretty damn hard too.

The whole album brings a nice mix of double-bass fueled brutality and chunky, rythmic slow parts. This starts to get tedious toward the end, songs like "Rain" and "Genocide" are pretty forgettable. The album thankfully ends with the slow, almost radio - friendly (minus the fact that it's Grave) track Scars, which evokes the feeling of its lyrics well.

Bottom line, this is the first death metal album I owned and I am quite happy that it was. It got me into the whole old skool Swedish scene, which has branched out into all of the horrible things I listen to today. If you like Grave, or rib-crushing funky death metal, then pick it up. "Soulless" is enjoyable for a number of reasons, the lyrics being a fine example, check out the end of "Bloodshed" (or Blodshed, your choice)...


(Edit - Whoops, got the band members all mixed up here. It is Jorgen on vocals and bass(back then), Jensa on drums, and of course Ola handles the guitar.)