GravewurmSince 1991 Gravewurm have been cranking out some of the dirtiest blackened deathly thrash out there.  With a discography of EPs and splits of near Nunslaughter proportions this prolific Ohio based outfit are one of the longest running cult bands around and now they’re back with their 11th LP ‘Doomed To Eternity’ to be released by Hells Headbangers on Christmas Day no less.

Following on from last year’s ‘Abyss Sorcery’, this is 11 tracks of stripped down and catchy Venom & Bathory worship. Gravewurm are the band that Skeletonwitch wish they were. Evil sounding, addictive and memorable headbanging anthems of evil and horror.

‘Shining Night Gleam’ kicks the LP off in a suitably thrashing style and is a total neck-wrecker, ‘Fangs Of The Serpent’ has a wickedly evil groove to the main riff and features some kick arse drumming.

On the subject of the drumming, this album is the last recorded work of the much missed Jim Konya AKA Lord Mazillion – who tragically passed away in October this year.  Jim plays on every track and assisted with the songwriting too. He’s a massive loss to the metal community, but this, his last work is a total banger. RIP buddy.

The songs are a touch more melodic and atmospheric than previous albums – ‘Wolves Of Isengard’ is a great example (and also features Don Of The Dead from Nunslaughter on guest vocals), ‘Bury My Coffin’ is a slower paced doomy number which fits in well with vocalist, Funeral’s evil gargle dripping all over it.

Production is spot on, robust and in your face without sacrificing clarity, the malevolence comes through in bucket loads. Exactly what you want at Christmas.

(8/10 Mark Eve)