WORDS: Tim Redman
Some bands are often accused of putting out the same album over and over without anyone seeming to mind. AC/DC are a good examples of this, as indeed are many of the famous early Swedish death metal scene. Included in that illustrious number is GRAVE who relentlessly plugged away since 1988 with their own take on the death metal sound. Out of Respect for the Dead is the bands 11th full length release.
The album begins with a short introduction before kicking into Mass Grave Mass. Immediately making the listener aware this isn’t a band who are straying from their roots GRAVE have all the elements you expect, with deep roars and blastbeats laid over solid death metal riffs. The second track on offer here Flesh Before My Eyes also starts off aggressively before tempering itself back into a slower more grinding sound.
Plain Pine Box was the first song released from the album as a teaser. It’s not hard to see why as the song is one of the best on offer here. A crushingly heavy guitar led opening sets the tone for the entire track which is heavily based around some fantastic riffs with vocals roaring over the top of them.
Title track Out of Respect for the Dead follows on by returning to the faster sound of the opening tracks. The drums are given more prominence in this track and there is a lengthy guitar solo towards the end. When compared to the remainder of the album this is somewhat uneventful though by no means bad. The Ominous “They” easily has the best track name on the album. It is also another solid song, mixing the elements that GRAVE have perfected over the last two and a half decades well to create another powerful track that allows vocalist Ola Lindgren to really shine.
Redeemed Through Hate begins the second half of the album with the aggressive beat that fans of GRAVE are all too familiar with. The track rips along at an impressive pace, pausing only to allow the guitars to lay down a crushingly heavy section. Deified continues the trend for faster tracks with a slight let up to allow the guitars to get heavy that seems to be prevalent across this album.
The penultimate track Trail of Ungodly Trades is a heavy one. With a powerful main riff that forces the song ever onwards before cutting back entirely towards the end and taking an almost rock-y riff. While it sounds slightly out of place it works surprisingly well and fans can no doubt expect to be hearing it in a set list soon.
Grotesque Glory is the final track on the album and clocks in just short of the 10 minute mark. Beginning slowly the track takes its time to grow in power, allowing plenty of time for guitar solos and a focus on the lyrics, before finishing as aggressively as the other tracks on the album.
All in all GRAVE have done themselves proud with Out of Respect for the Dead. It doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, no frills or experimentation. It’s another slab of that old school Swedish death metal that has so many fans across the globe. Going over familiar ground, it does it well and is a fine addition to the bands discography.
Out of Respect For The Dead is out now via Century Media Records.