Gravewards – Ruinous Ensoulment

Rating: 3.5/5
Label: Unspeakable Axe Records
Released: August 2018
Buy Album: https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/ruinous-ensoulment
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Gravewards/

Band Line Up

Nikos – guitars,throat,lyrics
Fotis – bass
Basilis Kyp – drums

Album Tracklisting

1. Intro
2.Sworn In Denial – Omega Syndrome
3.Souls Twisted Beyond Recognition
4.Crypt Spawned Psychosis
5.Deconstruction
6.Thresholds Of Lunacy
7.Abyssal Soul Devourment
8.Devoid Of Life

Video

Review

Self-awareness is a quality rarely seen in general, but I would argue particularly not in bands. This makes sense – if you need to stand up in front of crowds of people, it’s probably best not to be too self-aware. That makes it all the more refreshing when it becomes apparent.

Greek death metal outfit ‘Gravewards’ has released a debut album, following on from the demo four-track released last year. For such a young outfit this is a very mature release. Their promotional material, for once, seems pretty damned accurate. Describing themselves thus:

“Songs are technical without descending into wankery, often utilizing the kind of backward, nightmare-logic riffs that initially separated death metal from thrash, but which many bands now have either discarded in favour of straightforward Slayerisms or pushed to an incomprehensible extreme.”

I really couldn’t agree more!

Each track takes you a little bit by surprise, segueing nicely from motif to motif, and each track is a little longer than expected. Absolutely in the 90s death kinda style, it’s refreshing to hear a new take on it. ‘Sworn in Denial’ has some moments of proper head-banging stuff, but a beautiful, slow ending. ‘Souls Twisted Beyond Recognition’ follows and is brutal from beginning to end, then comes ‘Crypt Spawned Psychosis’, which is probably my favourite track of the album. It is, as they describe, enjoyably technical without being wanky.

This is absolutely a release for death and thrash fans to enjoy. It is heavy, very aggressive but yet still maintains a kind of elegance. Throughout it there are numerous instances where I found myself thinking “ooh, now that’s interesting”. For a first album, this is great effort and I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.

Review by Bob Davidson
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