Grave stalks the burial ground in its recently released ninth album like an undead thing that knows the territory like the back of its decaying hand.
The nine songs collectively represent a stark contrast to the modern death-metal sound of the band (Noctiferia ) whose album we reviewed yesterday. Over the near quarter-century of its existence, Grave has remained true to the early-stage school of Swedish death metal that it helped found — a school that will flunk your ass out if your mind wanders from the approved curriculum.
But if you’re in the mood to study the evil classics, with some subtle updating, Burial Ground will pay dividends. To mix our metaphors, Grave has got the bone saw gassed-up and running — rough and loud. It won’t be a clean amputation, but as the jocks say, no pain, no gain.
Throughout the album, the bass and guitar hum and buzz and crackle like massive, overloaded transformers, producing the classic, downtuned, distorted sound that reviewers have unsuccessfuly struggled for two decades to describe (for the sake of variety) without using the word “chainsaw.”
It’s not all the sound of a burred grind. Tremolo-picked leads surface in “Semblance In Black”, “Ridden With Belief”, and “Bloodtrail”. Mournful, dissonant melodies peer out of the maelstrom on songs like “Liberation” and “Conqueror”, and squalling solos erupt in rapid bursts in almost every song.
But if the sound of those Swedish death-saws isn’t music to your ears, then you ain’t gonna like Burial Ground, because there’s no escaping them. (more after the jump, including a track to stream and some eye-catching artwork . . .)