Released: 1996, Century Media
Reviewer: Addison Herron-Wheeler
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
Grave are one of those rare and exceptional classic death metal bands that just keep plugging away – the lineup changes, things happen, eras and trends come and go, but they keep releasing albums, touring, and attempting to keep listener’s attention. Grave have a fair amount of releases and many get downvoted all the time as music that is too generic or shouldn’t have seen the light of day, but in my opinion, most everything Grave have come out with is pretty solid, and it all has that thoroughly enjoyable sludgy Swedish sound.
If you are the type who judges a CD by its cover, then HATING LIFE will not look promising at first glance – the 90s-style logo and bad Photoshop cover art is not inspiring the way truly brutal photography or art is. In short, this looks like an album that came out in 1996. But if you can get past that, the music is actually pretty good. “Winternight” is a pretty memorable track with a brutal hook and catchy chorus, and the guitar work in “Still Hating Life” is pretty impressive, despite the otherwise silly aspects of this song. Ola Lindgren, the only original member of the band, also does everything on the album besides drums, which, while Lindgren is no doubt talented, might explain some of the one dimensional aspect of the music.
I think there is a reason this album sometimes falls between the cracks even for serious Grave fans, as it is a bit generic and nothing super special. However, if you know Grave you know they never really strayed too far from their formula of groovy Swedish death metal, so you’ll never be too disappointed by an offering. Definitely pick this up to complete your discography, but I would go out of my way to check out some of their more classic albums first.