Graveworm – Ascending Hate

Reviewed: July 2015
Released: 2015, AFM Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

It’s amazing to me that some bands just keep on going in spite of trends, critical opinion or indeed, sales. A perfect case in point is Italy’s Graveworm. These guys have been active in one form or another for over 20 years and yet, unless I am hugely mistaken, they cannot possibly have the type of sales figures that make the band profitable. Yes, I know that the music industry has changed to a huge degree and album sales are a fraction of a band’s income that they once were, but even so, you have to admire Graveworm for sticking to their guns.

The last time I checked in with these guys was their largely uninspiring 2007 effort COLLATERAL DEFECT, which was a confused, messy affair. They’ve released two additional albums since then, so I was curious to hear what the band would do on ASCENDING HATE. As it turns out, they’ve turned even farther away from their symphonic black metal roots and become an almost-pure melodic death metal band. That arguably suits the band a bit better even if it doesn’t exactly provide them a musical platform all their own. No doubt though, Graveworm have fine-tuned their music into a lean, aggressive beast, happily doing away with distractions like metalcore.

Unfortunately, while ASCENDING HATE is pure, heavy, and furious, it’s not all that memorable. The only song that really stands out for me is “Liars to the Lions”, a song which contains the album’s tastiest riffs and leads. More songs like that would have been welcome and, while “Nocturnal Hymns II” comes close to matching that majesty, the rest of the songs just sort of thunder about the room without making much lasting impact.

As I said at the beginning of this review, you have to respect the fact that Graveworm is still out there and sticking to their guns, but it’s unfortunate that after nine albums the band hasn’t reached above the mid-level with their writing. The band’s fans will eat this up, as will die-hard melodic death fans, but other listeners should definitely try before they buy.


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Track Listing:
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 II (The Death Anthem)

Stefan Fiori: Vocals
Stefan Unterpertinger: Guitar
Eric Righi: Guitar
Florian Reiner: Bass
Maschtl Innerbichler: Drums