We’ve been beating the drums for Gruesome’s debut album on Relapse Records, Savage Land, since first hearing a couple of early songs that emerged last June. Earlier this month Relapse premiered the album’s fourth track, “Hideous”, and today we’ve got the pleasure of bringing you the debut of the title song.
Gruesome’s membership roster is damned impressive. It includes Exhumed’s Matt Harvey; ex-Malevolent Creation drummer Gus Rios; Possessed guitarist Daniel Gonzalez; and Derketa bassist Robin Mazen. The idea behind their joining together is equally laudable: Their collective mission was to record music in tribute to Chuck Schuldiner and the almighty Death. Fittingly, they turned to illustrator Ed Repka (Death, Megadeth, Massacre, Athiest, et el) for the gruesome cover art.
Lots of bands ape the sounds of other bands without admitting to it, but for Gruesome, their album is forthrightly and unabashedly a tribute — a labor of love. And Gruesome’s talents are so impressive that they have pulled off a feat that would be beyond the capabilities of most musicians: They’ve written new songs that really do faithfully invoke the sound and spirit of Death’s early albums — and they’re so damned good that you’d fall for them even if you didn’t know Death had ever existed.
The song we’re premiering today, “Savage Land”, sounds like it crawled from the grave, a resurrected zombie of late 80s/early 90s Floridian death metal. It romps, it lurches, it crawls. The riffs slash and burn, they thrash and hammer, they slither and writhe, they generate an authentic stench of morbid atmosphere. The savagery of the vocals matches the intensity of the music, and the song includes guitar soloing that’s to die for.
Savage Land will be released in North America via Relapse Records on April 21, 2015; on April 17 in Germany, Benelux, and Finland; and on April 20 in the UK and the rest of the world (both CD and digitally). For pre-orders go to THIS LOCATION. Digital pre-orders are available via iTunes HERE and the Gruesome Bandcamp page HERE.
Listen to “Savage Land” below, and if you missed “Hideous”, which is based on the bone-chilling 1932 horror film, Freaks, you can stream that below as well.