Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Chords of utter brutality with a powerful message - 85%

LarsA81, November 14th, 2019
Written based on this version: 1998, CD, Cross Rhythms

When it comes to Christian death metal, most people will think of Mortification, Extol and maybe Becoming the Archetype and Crimson Thorn. That doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other bands of such genre out there, but you have to look deep into the underground to find them! And this split from the mid-90's is a perfect example of what was going on at the time! It is a split of 4 demo's from bands that actually didn't release much else. And here's a lowdown of the brutality that is "Chords of the Grave".

Obliteration starts the madness and mayhem with their fast, yet groovy death metal. They know not to over-do any of the variations, but has a perfect mix of both paces. I do prefer the groove-parts as they are super heavy and bouncy. Solos are fast and very much spot on. And the vocals are typical guttural growls, but here and there, you can understand what is being sung, and it does make a few of the parts come off as rather catchy. Obliteration were an amazing short-lived band, and this demo is some of the better Christian death metal releases. They later evolved into Deathlist and Broken Flesh!

Evisceration is up next, and these guys share the same guitarists as Obliteration. It's a pretty good release, although compared to Obliteration, everything seems a bit more flat. The riffs aren't as good, the bass, when audible, seems performed almost a bit "carefully" and the drums are more stale, although I do like the snappy pang-pang of the snare. Vocals are really good thought!

Disencumbrance is without a doubt the splits high-light!! Wauw, these guys are utterly amazing!! The energy is furious and the sound muddy (modern OSDM fans might use the word "cavernous"). The bass is all swampy and has a great room for showing off, guitars are deader than death metal and the drummer is intense yet groovy in their performance. And the vocals - it's mostly a deep growl but Disencumbrance also uses plenty of higher pitched screams. Overall the vocals remind me of Corpsegrinder! Whereas the other bands on the record has a strong Christian lyrical profile, Disencumbrance tells a concept story of man getting caught up in the occult and getting into all things messes up. The story is accompanied by great samples from news reels, etc. Disencumbrance is clearly some of the best Christian (death) metal ever and is worth the price of this release alone!

Oblation reminds me a bit of the first band on this split - Obliteration. Fast, yet groovy death metal with some good growling. And their groove-parts are the best. Super bouncy and heavy. Just listen to "Reeking Impurities". Obliteration might have more of a hard punch in their music, but Oblation has the amazing solos! They are not the total Slayer-frenzy solos, but sound more melodic and accessible. A great final demo for this split.

To end the whole death metal feast, we have Flesh Walker playing a live track for a small crowd. The song is a great and fun mix of death-, doom- and groove-parts and this mix keeps the track rather interesting. I would love to hear more of these guys, but like the rest of the bands (except for Disencumbrance who have re-join as a group) all these bands are long gone.

Chords of the Grave is an absolute must-have for anyone into Christian death metal, and every extreme metal fan should definitely check out Disencumbrance! This is as old school and as brutal as it gets!