Gravestone – Proud To Be Dead

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributor/label: Sliptrick records
Released: March 2017 (Europe) / July 23, 2017 (USA)

Proud to be Dead

Band line-up:

Alessandro Iacobellis – Vocals
Marco Borrani – Guitar
Gabriele Maschietti – Guitar
David Folchitto – Drums
Massimiliano MaaX Salvatori – Bass
Fabrizio Di Carlantonio – Keyboards

Tracklisting:

1) Proud To Be Dead
2) Corpse Embodiment
3) Eyes Without Sight
4) Flagellation
5) Matres

Review

Gravestone’s ‘Proud To Be Dead’ is a strange little EP, though not without its merits. An eclectic affair of 5 tracks that are unified in an attempt to create an atmosphere of melodrama. This Italian sextet are bringing the various influences and stylistic aspirations of it’s revised line up to bear with some intriguing, if inconsistent, results. All of the band members are clearly very technically proficient. And each member gets ample chance to shine.

Death Metal bands that make heavy use of keyboards are few and far between, but that is what we see here. Pianos, orchestral strings, and church organs are weaved through almost every section of music, to varying degrees of effectiveness, while there are many fantastic moments everywhere on this record, it is certainly a mixed bag. Each song seems to shift styles and sometimes even genres on a riff by riff basis, often throwing interesting curveballs at the listener, there’s time and feel changes aplenty, with intricate riffs ranging from melodic to brutal, there are many exciting points and a few memorable hooks here, but equally often the songs lack focus and clarity of vision.

At times this record sounds disjointed, and while experimentation is key to writing progressive music, unfortunately, this is an EP that just slightly misses the mark that makes the difference between interesting prog structures and ineffectual meandering. An endearing effort for those who appreciate Death Metal with a penchant for Goth baiting sonic theatrics, even if it doesn’t quite live up to its own lofty ambitions.

Review by Lewis May
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