Best of Grave (Sweden), one of most important name in the Death Metal scene active since the ‘90.
Special deluxe packa- ging: triple gatefold 7” format (18 cm x 18 cm).
Brand new re-edition featuring 13 albums (and so “extended” from the pre- vious version which contained only the material until 2008), here well presented by 33 tracks. Grave despite their immediate foray into groove metal, demonstrated the raw power and messy primitivism inherent in this style, and combined this with a richly oppressive atmosphere.
Grave revel no chances, keeping things as straightforward as possible, but in doing so they touch on a surprising variety of metal traditions.
There are Autopsy-esque doom riffs thrown in, mid-paced Bolt Thrower earpounding, the patented d-beat punk of typical Swedish death metal, and plenty of those basic but atmospheric guitar solos that frequently leap out, covered in reverb and opening up the music’s size and scope.
For one, the hole production, it’s far murkier than is typical for this region, with heavy bass tones lurking dominantly beneath every sustained chord.
The drums are equally bassy, with no high end or decay on the snare, resulting in near constant, pillow punching madness.
Then there’s the fact that Grave’s philosophy, despite drawing on many exterior traditions within extreme metal at the time, is ultimately out to keep things as dirty and primitive as possible, with sloppy breaks giving way to chaotic thrash passages, and the guitars struggling to keep up with the drums, weighed down as they are by the muddy tone.
The vocals do nothing to compensate for the constant murk that dominates the band style, operating as a ghoulish but guttural growl throughout.
An oppressive, subterranean atmosphere arises from the merging of these consciously basic elements.
Last curiosity: it contains 3 cover bonus tracks for he first time on vinyl.