Tuesday, 20 March 2012

GRAVE - Burial Ground (2010)

01  Liberation
02  Semblance in Black
03  Dismembered Mind
04  Ridden With Belief
05  Conquerer
06  Outcast
07  Sexual Mutilation
08  Bloodtrail
09  Burial Ground

Grave are Swedish death metal band that was formed in 1986 by vocalist/guitarist Ola Lindgren, who is their only constant member. The band had particular success in the early 1990s, and their first four albums, Into the Grave, You'll Never See..., Soulless and Hating Life, cemented their reputation as one of Sweden's foremost death metal bands. The band went on hiatus in 1997, but decided to get back together two years later and have remained active to this day.

Grave stick to their old school guns on this release, limiting the blast beats and technical wankery to a minimum, opting for a more organic feel to the carnage. Crunching bass. Crunching guitars. Crunching vocals. You get the idea. Repetition is key here. Nine tracks of unrelenting, seemingly facile material regarding death in all its gory glory: decapitation, mutilation, evisceration, eternal damnation etc...
From the opener “Liberation”, Grave’s simple yet effective style of Death Metal should turn the avid death metal listener into a head banging maniac. If you are not head banging and trying to destroy what remains of your living room from the initial visit by the time “Semblance in Black” oozes out of your speakers like a thick sludgy tar than please check yourself into a Geriatrics facility or take up listening to another form of music. A treat for long time fans of the band is another re-recording of one of their early demo songs, “Sexual Mutilation”, something they have been doing for a while now beginning with “Autopsied” on Fiendish Regression. The album closes on a fantastic note with the 14 minute long, crushing doom epic title track "Burial Ground" that delivers the final knockout blow.

Music scenes thrive and progress because of artists constantly pushing the envelope and building on top of what’s already there. It doesn’t have to be new people doing it all the time either; there are certainly multiple examples of the old guard coming back with challenging new material. In Grave’s case though, the band seems content in sticking with a done to death (no pun intended) formula that satisfies their existing fan base, but won’t be winning many new listeners over. That being said, this is a strong release for what it is and my favourite Grave album of the lot so far...

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