» Blog Archive Album Review: Savage Land by Gruesome -
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Gruesome albumDeath Metal has a long and storied past, with some of the most iconic bands of metal belonging to this old school, brutal genre: Cannibal Corpse, Possessed, Morbid Angel, Mortician, Autopsy, Obituary, Entombed… and the almighty father, DEATH. From the ashes of Chuck Schuldiner’s genre forming playing and vision comes today’s review: Savage Land by Gruesome.

GRUESOME was borne out of guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey (Exhumed) and drummer Gus Rios’ (Malevolent Creation) mutual involvement with the Death To All tours – Harvey serving as frontman for the original nine-member mini-tour and Rios performing “Baptized In Blood” and working with DTA drummer Sean Reinert on the following US tour where Exhumed filled in as support on a several dates, Rios later recruiting Possessed guitarist Daniel Gonzalez and Derketa bassist Robin Mazen to record the material in Florida. The unholy formation we now have, ready to break open from their cage, is GRUESOME: the spawn brought to life in the void left by Chuck Schuldiner, channeling his style and ferocity. Gruesome exorcises the old Death ways, that of technical, destructive riffing using some expert technique, with a distinct sound that uses as little effect as possible to get the most brutality. All amp heaviness!! Matt Harvey does an almost dead on tribute to Schuldiner, one of acid soaked viciousness that leaves even the listener’s throat raw. Drumming is heavy, fast, and extremely well balanced, every smash and crash is clear and ready to smash faces in. Overall, production is PERFECT, and it recalls the mid-later release.

The album is exactly what a band, inspired by Death’s legacy, should sound like: fast, heavy, listenable, and simply Metal. While not a carbon copy or cheap imitation, Savage LAnd feels and sounds like an Death album, considering all of the members were involved with Death to All, not surprising. It’s a throwback, much like the things that grace the wonderful artwork, to a much more primitive time. You have amazingly searing leads, not sweeps or anything absolute written for more than 4 human fingers, vocals I can absolutely growl or yell to, and just constant headbanging rhythmics. Its like Listening to Leprosy-era, and I really want a cassette version of this. It will require me having a cassette deck, but needs must when the devil thrashes! And a really awesome bonus, Gruesome has included a tribute to Death, a cover of the brutal slab, Closed Casket, another of Land of No Return, and a very excellent cover track of Black Magic by SLAYERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR (still Slayer, just exactly how you hear it in your mind) (Note: Land of No Return and Black Magic only available on their Deluxe version of Savage Land, which is so on my ordered list!)

This album is for everyone, any metalhead, any fan of heavy shit, and by Yngwei’s ruffled shirts, if you can thrash to some Closed Casket, YOU WILL BE IN LINE FOR THIS. Buy, download, stream 2 tracks off Savage Land, Savage Land and Hideous, at Gruesome’s official Bandcamp! Now wreck your neck in the mean time!

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