In a year that has delivered a hearty helping of very good old-school, Swedish-style death metal produced by a phalanx of newer bands, the tenth album by Grave is still the one I’ve been most eagerly anticipating. Not that the newer bands can’t grasp and execute on the basic blueprint, but after all, Grave helped draw the blueprint in the first place more than 20 years ago and they’ve been turning out solid albums ever since.
Only Ola Lindgren is left from the original line-up that gave the world Into the Grave in 1991, but he ‘s been the heart and soul of the band for such a long time that it doesn’t much matter. On Endless Procession of Souls, which marks the band’s return to the Century Media label after a two-album dalliance with the now-defunct Regain Records, Lindgren is joined again by drummer Ronnie Bergerstål, who’s been the hitter since 2008’s Dominion VIII. Two new faces round out the current line-up — second guitarist Mika Lagrén and bass-player Tobias Cristiansson.
Together, they’ve created 10 new songs that will cause most die-hard fans to salivate, though it may not be without controversy for some. For my money, Endless Procession of Souls is one of the best old-school death metal albums of 2012 and a worthy addition to this legendary band’s evil discography.