Engraved
Before The Tales


4.0
excellent

Review

by B R A N D O N S C O T T USER (103 Reviews)
September 18th, 2010 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


In the extreme metal underground, it's live, or die by the demo. Collected, traded, but above all cherished, the demo by far makes up metals most commonly released form of music. However, it is not just the overwhelming quantity that makes metal demos an anomaly within music; it's their quality. Take for instance a group such as Von; formed in 1988, this raw, filth proto-black metal band never released a full-length record, yet their 1992 demo Satanic Blood remains to be one of the most highly regarded releases within the extreme metal community. Even if not influential, recent demos from band's such as New England's Frontier or Santa Cruz's mysterious Sleepwalker perfectly showcase the bands talent, and all in one short, sweet, sitting. Fitting more so into the latter category, Engraved who formed in 1992 unfortunately was a band that never made it past the demo stage; however, thanks to the supreme compositional content found on their sole demo Before The Tales their legacy will always live on strong for those who have had the privilege of hearing it.

Before The Tales features a sound that is truly a marriage of Sweden's resident death metal scenes of the time; combining the overall tone of Stockholm's somewhat heavier brand of death metal with the reliance on melody that made Gothenburg famous, Engraved's burgeoning sound is quite unique, especially for its time in 1995. Vocalist Johan Eklund displays some great versatility ranging from hoarse, guttural bellows to higher pitched rasp with apparent ease. Closing track "Calm and Crimson" even features some clean vocals, which despite being used on the most minimal of scales fits right in with the raging instrumentals. On second track, "Shores of Despair (A Journey in Grief Pt. 2)" guitarists Nils Norberg and Andreas Nilsson (who was also a member of the famous Swedish melodic black metal band Naglfar) provide not only meaty, downtuned, riffery, but also let their classic metal influences shine through, creating a bridge with a supremely melodic harmonized guitar solo. "Winter Sleep", which opens a softly played acoustic guitar intro hints at some possible black metal influence, with intertwining tremolo picked guitars taking precedence over the usual death metal guitar fare. Drummer Nils Eriksson may not be the most original or even the best drummer, yet on Before The Tales he certainly gets the job done; from the mid to high tempos the songs range from, his drumming is steady, even and tight, never exceeded the standards but always meeting them. Although his appearance often to brief or minuscule to really make any criticisms (well besides almost being non-existent), bassist Patrik Hellström gets some time to shine during "Shores of Despair (A Journey In Grief Pt. 2)" , letting his low end shine brightly, with interesting note choices which thankfully, deviate from the guitars.

It seems Engraved's time as a band was cut way too short; with three demos of the utmost excellence under their belt, it would be a waste of genuine talent for everything to just end so suddenly. Perhaps this was the mindset of Johan Ecklund, as it was announced but a short while ago, the band would be reforming, coming together again to create brand new material. Will it live up to past victories? Who knows, but at least we can sleep safely knowing what they are capable of.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
September 18th 2010


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

First review in some time and I'm sure it shows. What I'm really banking on is for this to get me back into writing daily because I have a lot of great bands I would love to review.

Digging: Volahn - Aq Ab Al

vanderb0b
September 18th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic review, I'll definitely check this out.

Hawks
September 18th 2010


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was actually thinking today why it's been so long since you reviewed something. Nice review dude.

TheSpirit
September 18th 2010


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks guys. Summer for me was basically a big combination of partying and working so I didn't really have the motivation to review. Now that schools back on and everything has become relatively calm, I plan on reviewing much more frequently. And vanderb0b, I can definitely see you liking this.

RippingCorpse
September 18th 2010


1087 Comments


sounds awesome good review

vanderb0b
September 18th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is awesome. Wish it was longer, though.

TheSpirit
September 18th 2010


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Corpse.

And yeah vanderb0b I wish this was longer as well. They have two other demos which I've been meaning to get my hands on but they are literally impossible to find. I'm hoping now that they've reformed (apparently) that these will be easier to come by and that their will be a new LP sometime soon. Anyway, glad you enjoyed it.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 18th 2010


5815 Comments


great, really informative review, brandon, you obv know your stuff. "bands" needs in an apostrophe in the first para though, and "for it's time" doesn't need the apostrophe. dumb rules, i know, but just trying to help. pos



Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

TheSpirit
September 18th 2010


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Jared, appreciated. I'll fix those right away

Bitchfork
September 18th 2010


7584 Comments


Pos' for namedropping Von.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2010


16466 Comments


Frontier's demo rules, Sleepwalker's demo rules, this will most likely rule.

TheSpirit
September 19th 2010


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It does; i can see you liking this for sure

TheSpirit
December 14th 2010


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

These guys officially reformed and will be coming out with a new record next year : )

TheSpirit
April 12th 2012


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Finally got around to listening to the EP these guys dropped in 2010... not bad stuff at all. Not nearly as good as this but for anyone who wants some decent melodeath it's worth a listen.

Hawks
August 28th 2014


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This fuckin rips.

TheSpirit
August 28th 2014


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It sure does!

Hawks
August 31st 2014


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why don't more people know about this....?

TheSpirit
September 1st 2014


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Too busy posting on the babymetal thread and fapping to the same 6 albums oer and over again.



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