My pick of the week for the 2nd week of May, 2018 is “A Waste of Life” from Gruesome, a band that emulates Death’s classic sound and evolution of albums with it’s own. Less than four short years into their career, the death metal defenders of the old — featuring current and former members of Exhumed, Possessed, Malevolent Creation, etc. — returns with its second full-length sermon, “Twisted Prayers.” Check out “A Waste of Life” below:
The eight-track offering follows Death’s paradigm shift during the “Spiritual Healing” era, incorporating more cerebral, melodic instrumentation with elements of thrash and thought-provoking, socially conscious lyrics. Recorded at New Constellation Studios in Orlando, Florida with producer Jarrett Pritchard (Exhumed, 1349, Goatwhore, Wolvhammer) who has been instrumental in crafting the band’s sonic homage, “Twisted Prayers” features Gruesome doing what they do best across over forty minutes of unholy hymns with lurid melodies and vulgar atmospheres. The band has once again teamed up with the legendary artist Ed Repka (Death, Atheist, Massacre, etc,) for the album’s blasphemous cover art in addition to legendary Death guitarist James Murphy (Death, Obituary, Testament) for a pair of special guest guitar solos. Bow your heads and worship at the altar of Gruesome!
Gruesome’s “Twisted Prayers” is due out June 1st on CD, LP, deluxe LP, cassette, and digital formats via Relapse Records. Physical packages are available via Relapse.com HERE and digital downloads/streaming services at THIS LOCATION.
Multi¬-state death metal monster Gruesome was born out of guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey and drummer Gus Rios’ mutual involvement with the Death To All tours (Harvey served as frontman for the original mini¬tour and Rios performed “Baptized In Blood” and worked with DTA drummer Sean Reinert on the following US tour where Harvey’s other band Exhumed filled in as support). After discussing and discarding the idea of putting together another incarnation of DTA to focus exclusively on the first two albums, Harvey half-jokingly suggested that the pair write their own songs in intentional homage to Death. It wasn’t long before the idea gained traction, and the band soon had five tracks written. With Harvey writing in California, Rios recruited Possessed guitarist Daniel Gonzalez and Derketa bassist Robin Mazen to record the material in Florida, while Harvey tracked his vocals on the West Coast.
Gruesome released a pair of single-song demos in 2014 and were quickly signed by Relapse Records. The band’s debut full-length “Savage Land,” a truly gruesome slab of “Leprosy”-styled death metal, was released in April 2015. As evidenced by the Ed Repka (Death, Vio-lence, Megadeth, Massacre, etc.) cover art, Gruesome was humbly determined to keep the classic sound of Death alive as faithfully as possible.
After the very positive reception of their debut from fans and critics alike, Gruesome continued their homage to the Death catalog, promptly sinking their teeth into the savagery of “Scream Bloody Gore.” Their second release, the “Dimensions Of Horror” EP, was a six-song slab of grisly, bone-breaking anthems that proved that no matter the decade, old-school death metal is always relevant, brutal, and irresistible. The music video for the title track perfectly captured the record’s VHS horror sensibility and further raised the band’s profile, leading to shows across the US and Europe. The band followed “Dimensions…” up with a 7” titled “Fragments Of Psyche,” which showcased their versatility. With guest drummer Sean Reinert (Death, Cynic), the band dove head-first into the more technical “Human”-era of Death’s sound, which was a sharp contrast to the band’s first two releases, which exclusively reveled in old-school glory.
Matt Harvey – guitar, vocals
Daniel Gonzalez ¬- guitar
Robin Mazen ¬- bass
Gus Rios ¬- drums
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