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Graveworm – Ascending Hate Review

 

Band: Graveworm
Album: Ascending Hate
Label: AFM Records
Genre: Gothic/Black Metal
Country: Italy
Release Date: July 10, 2015

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Graveworm…..awesome name, sounds almost “Tolkien-ish” (“Begone foul Graveworm! You shall not pass!!”). Graveworm is a metal band hailing from Italy and started in 1992. I have to be honest the first time I heard Graveworm was in 2005 on the album “Cover it up Vol 2”. On there they did a cover of R.E.M’s “Losing my religion”. But they did not really impress me back then. After that I heard another cover they did, the Police’s “Message in a bottle”. And that was a lot better, but what I am trying to say is that I am late to the Graveworm band wagon.

 In 1997 they were signed to Serenade Records and also released their first full album : “When daylights gone”. Their style has been labelled as Gothic/Black metal. Heavy riffs with accompanying gutter like growls and then a a lot of atmospheric tricks of the trade like keyboards, choruses and other classical instruments. But the driving force is the (like it’s suppose to be in metal) thundering guitar riffs and the hell belching vocals. But Graveworm has matured over the years and perhaps not in the way you would think

The vocals have softened for me from the fist tracks I heard of graveworm. Now usually when a band moves away from their introductory vocal assualt into a more refined category, I immediately tune out, and mutter words to myself like “sell-out” and so on. But not with this album. The vocals actually flow a lot better over the riffs, and does not sound like its chasing them.

But as the vocals became more controlled with this album, the melody and sound turned old-school. Not so many choirs and orchestra filing the halls, witch can and have diluted a lot of their old stuff, making a lot of the songs sound like power metal anthems instead of the death/doom/gothic sound they do so well. But do not worry, they did not do away completely with the weaving keyboard melodies. There are some nice breaks in the songs. This helps put the entire experiment together nicely, as it prevent a tick in the box called “monotonous/formulaic”. And moves away from text book song writing and adds to the longevity of the album

One of my favourites on the album is a song called “The Death Heritage”. The song starts of classical, which with all this chaos and death and chomping of teeth, is like being in the eye of the storm. Calm, almost ethereal, but you know, the punch in the gut is waiting on the other side. Very reminiscent of their earlier stuff.
I still feel nothing can beat their first two albums: “When daylights gone” and “As the angels reach the beauty”. But this is an excellent album and if you are like me, late to the Graveworm party, it would not be a wasted purchase. Go get it

Rating: 7/10

 

Tracklist:
1. The Death Heritage
2. Buried Alive
3. Blood, Torture and Death
4. To the Empire of Madness
5. Downfall of Heaven
6. Stillborn
7. Liars to the Lions
8. Rise Again
9. Son of Lies
10. Nocturnal Hymns, Part II

 

Total Playing Time: 56:57

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