Released: June, Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Stefan is the leader of this band and also the founder. He started Graveworm back in '97 and they released the EP “ETERNAL WINDS”. The year after came the debut record “WHEN DAYLIGHT’S GONE”. In '99 and '01 came the follow up and then the third album arrived, now it’s time for the fourth album called “ENGRAVED IN BLACK”. This is a new band for me, I’ve haven’t heard this Italian band before.
Graveworm has recorded this in their producer Andy Classens (Krisium, Rotting Christ, Holy Moses etc.) studio Stage One Studio during March/April this year. Andy has done a great job with the production and the sound picture. The band has newly signed for Nuclear Blast so this is their first release on this label. Graveworm plays very complicated black metal with a lot of tempo changes throughout the songs. They play fast, melodic black metal with influences of gothic metal I think because they uses keyboard in their music.
They have put 9 tracks on the album, 2 of them are instrumental and 1 is a cover. I can’t say anything about the lyrics because I only have a promo-ex. Along on the promo there is a cover of R.E.M’s “LOSING MY RELIGION”. That cover is not going to be featured when the record is out in the stores due to problems with legal rights. Instead there is going to be a cover of “IT’S A SIN” by Pet Shop Boys on the digipack version. Stefan has an amazing voice and he can sing both black metal and ordinary song. Sabine knows what she is doing behind her keyboard. Martin plays really good drums. Steve/Eric are two really good guitarists.
“DREAMING INTO REALITY” a mix of melodic/fast black metal with influences of gothic metal with a lot of keyboards. Stefan shifts between ordinary and pure aggressive black metal vocals, there are also a few calmer passages throughout the songs. “LEGIONS UNLEASHED” this tracks goes very fast with black metal vocals throughout the whole track. “RENAISSANCE IN BLOOD”, “DROWNED IN FEAR” and ”ABHORRENCE” more of the melodic/goth black metal with a lot of keyboards on top of the sound picture. It’s not so fast more heavy grinding before the speed rises. “THORNS OF DESOLATION” very heavy intro that brings the thought to a military-march, it sounds a bit like Irish folk music, the whole song sounds a bit strange. This is pure instrumental. “LOSING MY RELIGION” melodic black metal with black metal vocals by Stefan. As a cover I think this is a disgrace to the original song. The original is clearly much better than this dreadful cover. Sabine has a big part of the sound picture. “BEAUTY OF MALICE” melodic black metal with some calmer parts. Sometimes it borders to gothic metal and there are guitars high up in the mix. “APPARITION OF SORROW” only keyboard and drums, it’s very short, pure instrumental. This sounds like it was taken out of a movie. Both of the instrumental songs sounds very strange.
There are some very good musicians in this band. Graveworm plays very complex music and this is a very strong album number four. Even though this is a new acquaintance for me this impressed me a lot. Every song sounds fine except the two instrumental songs and the horrible cover.