Grave – Morbid Ascent

It’s hard to see a great deal of change in a five track EP from a band that have already cemented themselves as death metal veterans with ten full lengths confirming their legacy. Swedish favourites Grave certainly stick to their ferocious formula and EP ‘Morbid Ascent’ carries on from where last year’s stellar ‘Endless Procession of Souls’ left off. The first three tracks are new tunes that are fuelled by the aggressive speed and Ola’s menacingly familiar growls of the dirty nineties, with opener ‘Venial Sin’ stamping their style from the off. A cover of Satyricon’s ‘Possessed’ is a surprisingly brutal addition and a remix of last year’s ‘Epos’ stripped down and shortened for a heavier, sharper crunch. If this is a taster of things to come from Grave, expect the well done death metal all over again.

Small review published in Iron Fist

ENSNARED –‘Ensnared EP’ [6]

ensnared_ensnared

After a name change and move around in 2010, Swedish outlet Gravehammer reincarnated themselves as Ensnared and if you liked their previous form, you’re sure to enjoy their latest offering. In true Gothenburg style, Ensnared offer six songs of death metal muddied with occult themes and old school tendencies. By fusing both American and European DM influences and splattering them with black, the Swedes create a distinctive blend that will keep traditionalists content. Reincarnating rhythms akin to Nihilist and Repugnant keep the band somewhat bestial and whilst Gravehammer were okay, Ensnared sees the band evolving slightly more with harsher consequences.

Unlike their previous demo that included three tracks on this EP, the production is slightly less primitive with the band emerging from their underground caves and allowing their instruments to breathe a little. Needless to say, this by no means makes the EP clean and opening track ‘Adorations’ confirms this with uncompromising riffs and beastly drumming that continue throughout. For those who miss the underground noise of the likes of early Nominon or Entombed with a blackened twinge, Ensnared are an ideal stop gap and with only half an hour to go on this time round, we can only expect more from a full length.

Reviewed by Lily Randall

‘Ensnared’ is out Sept 6th on Nuclear Winter

You’ll like this if…you refuse to live past the nineties when it comes to death metal.

published on soundshock.com

Aeon – ‘Aeons Black’

Aeon – ‘Aeons Black’

Ah, the refreshing stench of Swedish death metal has returned and although Aeon don’t stem back as far as the old school likes of Dismember or Master the loyalties to their origin remain. Aeon’s three previous full lengths have proven to progress as time goes on and ‘Aeons Black’ is no change as the Swedes continue to develop and swell into a monolithic beast. Tommy Dahlström’s consistent yet destructive vocals make Aeon distinctive throughout their discography but riff-wise ‘Aeons Black’ shreds its formers to pieces with swirling melodies and homogenous brutality. Technicality shines through clearer than before in a similar style to other bands in the limelight, with ‘Garden of Sin’ and the title track ‘Aeon’s Black’, confirming that Aeon can keep in with the youngsters while preserving the old school tones. The first listen may not grab you at first but see it as the threatening letter you receive before a reckless beating.
4/5

Review by Lily Randall

To be published in Iron Fist #2