Gruesome’s SAVAGE LAND was one of my favorite albums from last year. Paying homage to the house that Chuck Schuldiner built, it was the best collection of LEPROSY B-sides not actually recorded by DEATH. Their new DIMENSIONS IN HORROR EP take us further back in time as the band salutes Death’s SCREAM BLOODY GORE debut. Just as SBG and LEPROSY were very different albums with very different influences, the same comparison can be made between SAVAGE LAND and DIMENSIONS OF HORROR.
Featuring a thrashier collection of tunes this time around, Jeff Becerra should get a writing credit somewhere. Possessed was an inspiration to Chuck in his formative years, and you can hear that influence across the EP (“Seven Doors” is an obvious nod). It’s impressive to hear how those classic SBG riffs have been reengineered without sounding like total parody – “Amputation” is “Mutilation”, “Dimensions of Horror” is “Evil Dead”, I’ll leave the rest for you to figure out, but it’s clever and the songs somehow avoid sounding plagiaristic. The title track in particular seems to hint at where Gruesome could from here; musically it’s more technically forward looking, and considering the collective pedigree of the band – that’s a great thing.
DIMENSIONS OF HORROR lacks some of the character and charm of its predecessor, but it’s an entirely fun and honest batch of OSDM tunes. Chuck is headbanging with a smile on his face somewhere.
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