Being a place that we would associate with being rich and full with Ancient History, it’s hard to imagine that this Death Metal band Gravewards, is derived from one of the world’s oldest cities, Athens in Greece. Materialising from almost thin air, these Greek Death Metal heads Nikos (Vocals and Guitar), Fortis (Bass) and Vasilis (Drums) made a small dent of an impression to the world with their EP in 2017 “Subconscious Lobotomy“, with their style of Death Metal that is rarely heard these days and is a spin on the sounds we would have heard from Death Metal bands in the 90s. The time has passed and Gravewards is due to release their first debut album “Ruinous Ensoulment” and it will not disappoint. It is full of classic Death Metal and groove riffs, bursts of melodies, demonic vocal shouts and chaotic drum work.
The Intro to the album really sets the scene for what lies beneath, it consists of a heart beat that gradually gets fast, with a warning signal of some kind, before fizzling out to a flatline which sounds like your ears the next few days after going to a live music show. Sworn In Denial – Omega Syndrome hits off with a bang with fast guitar work and blasting kicks, before Nikos comes in with his unique and aggressive vocals. Sworn In Denial – Omega Syndrome oozes some classic Death Metal riffs that get your head banging, and has some great sounding guitar work and lead. The third track off the album Souls Twisted Beyond Recognition has a banger of a opening riff, before going on the Gravewards onslaught of fast riffs and those aggressive vocals.
Just like Souls Twisted Beyond Recognition, the next track Crypt Spawned Psychosis features a really cool created riff that sets the foundation of this groovy riff filled song, it does feature those classic Death Metal riff sections and has some really cool sounding guitar runs by Nikos that has Fotis right there playing along. Deconstruction Of Logic has fast riffs, blast beats, progressive and cool drum patterns by Vasilis, and with an outro with what I would describe as a breakdown Death Metal and Gravewards style, with those harsh vocals of Nikos, dissonant sounding notes, machine gun kicks, and tremolo guitar runs, that prepares you for the next onslaught.
The next tracks Threshold Of Lunacy and Abyssal Soul Devourment, show us the more chaotic progressive style riffs and drums patterns that Gravewards create, with the addition of great headbanging riffs and blending it all with those Death Metal riffs we love. The final track of “Ruinous Ensoulment” is Devoid Of Life and it’s the longest track on the album with a run time over 7 minutes. Devoid Of Life is Death-esq in style with the guitar riffs, and has the guitar and bass playing runs together, like we heard on previous tracks of the album and is a great track to end an album, as it has you screaming for more.
Compared to their EP release in 2017 “Subconscious Lobotomy“, Gravewards have steered clear from the modern Death Metal sound and gone towards the more traditional sounding Death Metal. As you listen to the album over and over again, you start to notice that Nikos vocals start to get tiring, with not much diversity in the delivery and you lose that wow factor as they are met with some similar sounding riffs. Don’t get me wrong this is a beast of a debut album and Gravewards next release will be even more of a beast, as you can see the direction that Gravewards is heading, and their forecast is looking good.
“Ruinous Ensoulment” will be available on CD and digital platforms from August 31, 2018
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