Sweden’s own death metal mongers Grave go full circle with the release of “Procession of Souls”. Releasing in 1991, “Into The Grave”, and now some 20 years later with their 10th release with Century Media. Having spent some time out of the Century fold, Gave is now back and better than ever. Following in the unapologetic and uncompromising footsteps of peers such as Obituary and Vader, these death dealers do what they do best, pure death metal. No boundary pushing, just good old fashion death metal, something they have proven over the last 20 years is what they do best.
The music here really speaks for itself. Notable tracks such as “Flesh Epistle”, “Passion of the Weak”, “Encountering the Divine” and “Epos” are but examples of the power this release holds. Hard driving riffs, perfectly delivered vocal à la Lindgren, beats upon beats all captured and arranged is deathly perfection. Lindgren has a nice growl scream combination vocal delivery keeping the emotion and soul of the songs alive and can well be compared to fellow masters of the craft Mikael Åkerfeldt and John Tardy. This release finds me adding Grave music and vocals to some of my favorite death metal releases.
Going on about the vocal delivery should in no way give anyone the idea that the vocals carry this act. Mika, Tobias and Ronnie carry similar weight in musicality. They all deliver those darkly centered riffs, notes and beats of seasoned professionals and true leaders in their field. Vocals become such a touchy thing in this genre, you can have the greatest musicians in the world weaving the most glorious of tapestries only to have it torn to shreds by sub par and mismatched vocals. That’s what causes such a focus on vocals, but rest assured these vocals do no fall into that category. With Lindgren in top form, you can concentrate on the whole package and realize that the music is hellishly good.
This certainly is a must add for true death metal fans and metal fans alike. If anyone is interested in what proper old school Swedish death metal should sound like this new one from Grave is it. This release left me wanting more, especially with the closer “Epos” a nice longer, almost doomy track. When death metal merchants deliver a release like this and then close is with a longer doomy track what is not to love. All power, no fluff or duds here, it is simply, death metal as it should be loud, aggressive, in your face; and for that I say thank you!