They’ve been wrecking your neck and filling your head with some of the finest Swedish death metal….. ever….. since 1991. If you’ve not heard of Grave then put the ‘Miss Parkway May I’ album on again and eat a big bowl of fuck off.
Grave have followed up 2012’s ‘Endless Procession Of Souls’ – which I loved – with an even better slab of rotten meat in the form of this, their 11th LP ‘Out Of Respect For The Dead’.
Ticking all your SDM boxes this record is as much about outright aggression as it is about groove and memorable song writing, something a lot of modern DM bands forget in their quest for ‘slamming brutality’ and outright technical froth. This is the sound of a band that knows exactly what it’s good at and exactly what it’s doing.
There’s very few bands that can dish out 9 songs of this quality well over twenty years into their career, but Grave have been totally consistent in my view from record to record. No doubt some sticky keyboard internet bellends will be blahing on about how it’s “not as good as Into The Grave” etc. Well guess what dribbler? 1. You weren’t even born when that came out so fuck off with your attempt at cred. 2. Yes it fucking is! (and 3. Have you even kissed a girl?)
The eerie intro leads into ‘Mass Grave Mass’ which sports the perfect Grave riff and is a spot on opener for both the album and forthcoming tours. Faster than the editor to the bar when someone offers him a Strongbow but with a couple of mid paced & slow points for you to grab your breath and a killer solo too.
‘Plain Pine Box’ is pure crushing groove and Ola’s vocals are at their malevolent best on this doomy little number. The title track is a total heads down blaster. ‘Redeemed Through Hate’ is similar but with some nice little licks and a creepy solo. But every track is strong, especially the belting 9 minute plus closer – ‘ Grotesque Glory’ – creepy & atmospheric. Brilliant.
Special mention to Costin Chioreanu for the spooky but understated artwork, he has been responsible for the band’s last three albums as well as the ‘Morbid Ascent’ EP and it really rounds off the package beautifully.
An essential purchase if you have even the vaguest interest in proper death metal.
(9/10 Mark Eve)