Released: 2010, Regain
I’m glad I sat on this one for a while before writing a review. My initial impressions weren’t that strong. I’m still not blown away but I’ve re-evaluated my thoughts. Perhaps I’m biased to the 90’s albums, those first four studio albums are just killer. A six-year hiatus and for whatever reason I kinda lost the picture when it comes to Grave. There is no real reason I can put my finger on it, good albums, good production, a series of four records through the last decade, the band is obviously firing on all cylinders, but I’m just not hearing it. However, a new decade, a new 9th record is out for all to enjoy.
My colleagues on the site have provided some mixed reviews of the past few albums, but generally still favourable. So I’ve sat on this one for a while and gave it some fresh listens recently since it’s release and feel it’s coming out of the grave. I feel the band have recaptured a bit more of their original sound than the past few albums. This is a good thing.
The album is admittedly pretty damn heavy. Good classic production for this style of Death, the buzz-saw guitar tone is immaculate. The drums are over the place, and the vocals will take a strip right off ya. Grave have brought some friends along as Karl from Nile does a nice guest solo and Matti from Dismember contributes as well. There are a couple of longer songs, in the six and seven minute range Grave perhaps starting to stretch out of the 4-5 minute song length structure they have writing in for 20 years. It’s not the first time but it is good to see a bit more dynamic in the writing. I don’t want to say ‘formula’ but Grave certainly has established a signature style.
This is a classic Swedish Death Metal album, no readily apparent flaws and on any given day this could be someone’s Death Metal album of the month. In terms of reference to their often-mentioned colleagues, Grave is better than what Entombed are doing these days but not as good as Unleashed or Dismember.