You probably haven’t heard of Gravewards and that’s possibly the way it should be with underground death metal bands. The freedom to release your aggression with a couple of mates, bashing out some violent tunes without the need to satisfy the masses. But then you get the urge to let others hear what you’re doing… so you go the middle ground and release your demo as a 300-cassette limited issue.
There are only four tracks on here, and don’t think that the limited run means that the band have skipped on quality because they haven’t. In terms of both the material and the production, this is a superb piece of work. Slow, brutal and heavy but with plenty of groove and a smattering of technical death it should definitely appeal to a wide range of death metal fans.
Nikos’ vocals are almost a separate instrument in opener “Casket Entrapment”, not rattling off at a vast pace but instead adding a slightly off-kilter rhythm over the top of his guitar. The bits that keep your head nodding at provided by Fotis on bass and Basilis on drums. The title track is a little more of a traditional arrangement in terms of vocals and is also faster paced. It’s also the shortest track at a shade over four minutes.
It’s backed by the longest, “Crawling Chaos” which is almost seven minutes long, but if you like face-shredding evil, then it’s an enjoyable seven minutes. The vocals are back to being something that the music backs rather than seeming part of the overall sound, but this works really well. It’s like there’s a backing track with a demonic rant being overlaid. It’s just… evil. And violent. And slightly disturbing. In other words, genre being taken into account, spot on.
“Deathwomb Incubation” rounds things off with a slightly cleaner sound than the earlier tracks, but no less brutality.
This is a great little EP and one I’d recommend if you can a) get hold of it and b) have a tape player to listen to it on! Having said that, the band are working on new material so there’s every chance the next release will be in a more accessible format.
Subconscious Lobotomy is out now and available direct from the band