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Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: Grave Ritual - Morbid Throne


Those who say Americans don't understand death metal might want to adjust their opinion. New-Orleans based Grave Ritual will release their album 'Morbid Throne' this month and with this give the genre a healthy new boost.

Grave Ritual is the child of former Meathole Infection members and brought to live in 2009. Meanwhile, Grave Ritual has shared the stage with prominent bands, such as Proclamation, Revenge, Black Witchery and Inquisition. Grave Ritual is and will be a force to be reckoned with.

As to be expected, bearing in mind the band's name, track titles and cover art, the theme throughout Morbid Throne is death, combined with blasphemy and occultism. The stunningly dark and gloomy cover art prepares the listener quite accurately for the musical content.

Morbid Throne's opening track, 'Baleful Aversion', starts very slowly and heavily, but after 1minute and 20 seconds the pace is being picked up to the traditional blast-beat tempo. Ryan Evans' vocals are introduced and they turn out to be rather low and round (with the help of a good portion of echo mixed over his vocals). The lyrics are not always decipherable but that's not disturbing.

Throughout the whole album there's only a minimum of guitar solos, unlike other death metal veterans like Death. The ones present are not extremely intelligent and don't display virtuosity, but that doesn't make the album less pleasant to listen to. The melody lines, set by guitar and followed by bass, support the vocals well. Tempo-changes throughout the tracks keep them interesting.

Sometimes the instruments are slightly undefinable and the total sound messy. Overall, this album is, although not a landmark in its genre, most certainly a recommendation for old-school death metal aficionados.

Written by Dave Blummel

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