Death By Metal
Sweden is home to several pioneering death metal bands. Bands such as Nirvana 2002 and Nihilist were prominent in the driving force of the death metal genre. Indeed, it was there that the band Grave formed in the late ’80s. Their discography is abundant with several demos, EPs and full lengths, but perhaps their most celebrated work is their debut album Into The Grave. Their latest release however, an EP titled Morbid Ascent, is undoubtedly one of the best metal releases for 2013.
To those who favor the nostalgic sounds of early death metal, Morbid Ascent is a release that fails to disappoint. Though produced quite well, the guitars retain the famous “buzz saw” guitar sound, which is prominent in almost every Swedish death metal act. Oddly enough, though it is a brand new release, it sounds just like a 1991 recording. The riffs are quite catchy, the vocals are fairly demonic and the drums are played with harsh aggression. A special attribute to highlight, though, is the guitar solos; they are quite melodic and give the music a triumphant atmosphere.
Perhaps the only negative aspect of this release is its length. As the material is quite good, it would have fit more properly on a prolonged full length release. Each track, however, is fantastic in its own right. Grave’s cover of Satyricon’s “Possessed” is extraordinarily well done, combining death metal and black metal quite wonderfully. Additionally, the title track is also very well done; it’s a captivating track marked by wonderful guitar riffs and killer vocals. “Venial Sin” is yet another unbelievable that cleverly makes use of varying tempos, and topped off with a harmonious, passionate guitar solo.
All in all, Grave have been successful in creating some of the finest death metal 2013 has seen thus far. If this had been a full length release, it would even give Autopsy’s new album a run for its money. For those who enjoy nostalgic sounds of early death metal, don’t hesitate to buy Morbid Ascent.