Grave - Dominion Viii
- Artist: Grave
- Album: Dominion Viii
- Label: Regain
- Year of Release: 2008
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: solitaryman on 2008-07-22
Another in an ever-growing line of "classic" metal outfits I was previously unfamiliar with would be Sweden's own Grave, undoubtedly one of the pioneering voices in that country's death metal scene and a big player in it's modern by way of old school style. Dominion VIII is ironically enough their 8th release and the reviews have been nothing but positive, marking it as a return to a form they'd lost at some point during the 90's and have since been trying to recapture. I can't say for certain, but to my ears Dominion VIII is a big beefy slab of classic death metal that is sure to please both old Grave fans and new alike.
The riffs sizzle with a fiery intensity, even during the album's more down-tempo doomier moments."A World Of Darkness" ushers the band in on a wall of guitar and feedback, before bursting forth like a wartime calvary charge with hyperspeed rhythms and appropriately rough'n'gruff vocals. Ola Lindgren has some of the better DM vocals you're likely to hear, however generic they may sound, they fit the music perfectly and he's always honest in his approach. The lyrics are typical DM, anti-christianity and pro-evil and darkness whenever possible. This album doesn't reinvent the wheel, it just pummels you with it. I'm more fond of the band at their fastest, and my favorite tracks seem to reflect that: "Deathstorm" and "Annihilated God" in particular are simply barnburners. Their tendency to grind things out at times can be unnatural but it usually benefits the flow of things, especially on "Fallen (Angel Son)" and the title track, which clocks in at over 7 minutes and counts as this metal album's almost obligatory "epic' number.
You can't go wrong with Dominion VIII if you're at all a fan of death metal, as it embodies all of the qualities the genre originally came to define. Fans of bands like Deicide and the like will find plenty to love here. For me, as more of a Black and Thrash metal fan, I tend to disregard some DM bands as conveyors of an idea too childish (the whole "I hate God" deal) to take seriously half the time. Grave play that card but aren't afraid to let various musical influences shine through, from doom to bits of black and thrash here and there. I've always prefered the Swedish variety of DM, and if you do as well, you'll need to own this album.
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