Review Summary: A modern death metal album that really packs a punch!
Let me introduce you to a band called Grave
. This is a death metal band from Sweden and they have been active for almost twenty years, which makes them to out to be pioneers within the Swedish death metal scene. Other bands that have been around for a long period of time would be Unleashed
, which also some of Sweden's older metal bands. Formed back in 1988, Grave
decided to play death metal in a brutal and dark way. Heavy, brutal, aggressive and frantic are a few words that I would use to describe their sound. Or, if you happen to be a very experienced metal fan, I could but it like this: take Bloodbath
and The Project Hate
and mix them all together. Then you will have a very good idea of how Grave
could sound like. The band might not be very unique but they still have great potential and skill to create high-quality death metal, even after so many years in the metal scene. Unfortunately, Grave
is not one of those bands that seems to get a whole lot of attention, but hopefully that will come to change.
As Rapture Comes
is their latest album and was released in 2006. Just to make this review and album I bit more interesting I will mention that this album was recorded by the actual band, but the final mix was done at The Abyss
studio by the metal lord himself: Peter Tagtgren
. Anyway, this album delivers hands down old-school death metal with a twist of modern techniques and skills. The overall material is very, very heavy, evil and dark and, of course, brutal. Many would say that this album has a bitter taste of repetitiveness and lack of overall creativity but this still has some golden moments. Many songs have good structure, which means that there are tempo changes, varied riff lines, varied drum performances, superb sound production and one-of-a-kind solos. But as many death metal bands this band does not come with any remarkable lyrics, as it's mostly about killing people, domination and more death/destruction. Lyrics like: The peaceful smell of death surrounds me as I strike, The crosses burn and blood is dripping from above, Our mission is accomplished and we march on, To seek the last remaining Christ-insane ones.
But the band has also put a little twist in their lyrics too, take this for example: As I walk the shadows, In the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, 'Cause evil walks by my side.
But other than that, the lyrics is nothing spectacular, what you hear is what you get.
is not a highly technically gifted band but they can handle their instruments with ease. The vocal style is very familiar to The Project Hate
singer, and you almost could think that it is the same singer but it isn't. Anyway, here we have strong and loud growling death roars, and you can actually feel the frustration and anger within the vocals. The only bad thing is that the vocal performance is very one-dimensional, as there is only the same type of roars all the time and it can become a bit tedious with time. If we look at the guitars we will find the spirit of this band because this is one thing that has made Grave
special. The down-tuned guitars create a hefty and rock-solid guitar sound, and that makes the riffs sound incredibly raw and heavy. The setup of riffing is your standard death metal arsenal, as there are some nice dark tremolo riffs, some that are just plain heavy, and there are also some that have a very groovy structure, such as Burn
I guess I will have to eat these words later but when you listen to these guitar solos your mind will probably switch to Slayer
. I can't find another band that has these kinds of solos, as they are not highly technical but they sound very crazy and twisted. It sounds like the guitarists have tried to imitate the screams from dying people. The bass is nothing special though; it stays behind the guitars and provides them with a sturdy platform sound. There are some moments where the bass is alone and it has a very metallic tone, but for t he most part, unfortunately, you can't hear it. The drums, along with the guitars, are the heart of this band, but lot of people would think that this is one of those repetitive drummers that only know one certain style of drumming. Well I'm glad to tell you that this guy knows what variety is. The drumming consists of at least three classic drum patterns. First there's the rattling double bass, then we have the good old fashion intense mid-paced drumming (or Slayer
drumming), and last there's the black metal blast-beats which are ultra fast drum beating. Then add some rolls and fills plus some slower standard metal beats and you will have an excellent drum performance.
So what was the good stuff from this album" First of all I have to point out the shear heaviness of this album; just listen to Burn
, Battle Of Eden
and Living The Dead Behind
you'll know what I'm talking about. Thanks to the great sound production this album will probably stick with you for a while, as every instrument is well balanced. The only thing that might be a bit too loud would be the guitars. Overall I would say that this album is slightly above excellent. The only things that would drag this album down would be the bitter repetitiveness, because while there are both fast and slow songs they all sound a bit similar to each other. And I would also give the vocals a minus also, but only because of the lack of variety. I will recommend this album to any death metal fan. It has a solid foundation of old-school death metal and on top of that you have the building of modern influences. If you enjoy bands like Bloodbath
you will definitely enjoy As Rapture Comes
Standout Tracks With Ratings
-- Burn 4.5/5
-- Battle Of Eden 4.5/5
-- Living The Dead Behind 4/5
-- Unholy Terror 3.5/5