Released: 2011, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
There’s something to be said for the simple things in life. A walk in the park, the smell of fresh coffee brewing, and traditional old school death metal…oh bliss, thy name is Grave Descent. Grave Descent is a five piece from lovely upstate New York who specializes in cranking some of the best 90’s inspired death metal I’ve heard in ages. Remember when death metal didn’t have all sorts of genre suffixes or prefixes? When you knew that it was going to be fast, heavy, complex, and full of wailing guitars, just because it was death metal? When you knew there weren’t any keyboards or whiny vocals, just because it was death metal? Grave Descent sure does, and you should add the band to your Christmas card list because of it. Their latest self-released EP is five tracks of unbridled f@#King metal hostility, and quite simply, it rules.
Capturing the no-nonsense intensity of regional kin-folk Suffocation and Immolation, with the riff sensibility of early Deicide and vocal flavors of back in the day Chris Barnes (before he sounded like something leeching out of a toad’s ass), and you’ve got the blueprints for the Grave Descent sound. Opening with the superb “Cadaverous,” the band rips through some stellar blasts, breakdowns, and whammy bar dive bombs that made me feel like I was 15 again, discovering death metal again for the first time. “Surgical Awakening” is by far my favorite of the five tunes on the disc, and has a very LEGION-esque vibe to it. “Feast of the Damned” tears into your gut with some more amazing guitar work delivered at a whiplash pace, while “Heritage of Doom” pulls back on the accelerator for a slower, dirgier, but no less intense assault, centered around vocalist Dennis John Glinski’s bellowing “HERR-I-TAGE OF DOOOOM!!!” “Morbid Extraction” ramps back up quickly to close out the disc in fine form, in probably the most frenzied tune of the five. The whole thing only last around 17 minutes, but the quality and power of the songs resonates long afterwards.
Not to name drop, but for the writing and recording of GRAVE DESCENT, Jack Owen (of Corpse and Deicide fame) was the band’s lead guitar player, so ‘nuff said about that. Grave Descent is a tight and talented band, and they’re inspired to re-introduce the masses to real death metal. And you need to hear this CD. GRAVE DESCENT is easily one of my favorite releases of the year so far, and just gets it right on every level. Check out Grave Descent’s website for more info about the band and how to score a copy of this truly exceptional release.