Greek Death Metallers Gravewards will release full-length debut album ‘Ruinous Ensoulment’ July 27 through Unspeakable Axe Records (the album will be available through international distribution channels on August 31). New track “Sworn in Denial – Omega Syndrome” is streaming below:
Appearing almost completely from thin air, Gravewards made a small but intense impression with their 2017 demo ‘Subconscious Lobotomy’. That independently-released 4-track tape was the kind of death metal too rarely heard in recent years, having the spirit of the original bands but not married to any particular influence or scene. Rather than emulating an album or style they loved, Gravewards paid some homage to the sounds of the 1990s while finding their own way forward.
Now their debut full-length ‘Ruinous Ensoulment’ is here, and it delivers thoroughly on the promise and the mission statement of their demo. Seven bludgeoning tracks and one intro deep, this album has the band reaching a very early peak in their young career. 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 favor of straightforward Slayerisms or pushed to an incomprehensible extreme. Gravewards finds fertile ground in between, delivering one line after another that is somehow incredibly catchy but also very unique. These passages often give way to either groovy mid-tempo parts or bursts of full-on melody, without ever becoming saccharine – again, a degree of good taste is shown that is too rare in a genre where bands like to find what works and then double or triple down on it. Over these well-developed compositions, vocals are less growls than the shouts of a crazed demon choking on the blood of its enemies. Nothing about ‘Ruinous Ensoulment’ is rote or easily expected; instead Gravewards marks out their own territory with the creativity and fearlessness that was more prevalent when the genre was still new.
PRE-ORDER ‘RUINOUS ENSOULMENT’ HERE!