lunedì 27 novembre 2017

Gravewards - "Subconscious Lobotomy" (2017)

Band: Gravewards
Title: Subconscious Lobotomy
Genre: Mid-tempo Death Metal
Year: April 2017
Time: 22 min circa
Rating: 55/100

The greek maniacs Gravewards, as bands like Acedia Mundi and Draghkar, contacted me after my incredibly successful review about "Primordial Malignity" of Tomb Mold. They sent to me their debut demo "Subconscious Lobotomy" for a review, released in demotape after 2 years from their foundation. Now, I don't know if the connection is wanted or not but the title of this demo is the same of the first full-lenght album of the known Swedish death metal band Centinex. So, are we in presence of a death metal holocaust in Swedish-style? Not exactly...

In fact, I expected a really violent demo totally rooted in the early '90s of the aforementioned genre, also in according to the titles of the songs. Instead, what you will listen here is a mid-tempo death metal à la Asphyx/Bolt Thrower (more or less...) with very rare fast parts in blast-beat while the riffing is enough melodic offering some similarities with the last, enigmatic Death but you have to forget every guitar solo, completely absent from start to finish. Here and there, there are some melodic death metal influences (especially in "Deathwomb Incubation") with the addition of some vaguely thrash metal riffs. What I like best about Gravewards is the singer because he use a very expressive growl close even to L.G. Petrov of Entombed fame. And the production of the demo is good since every instrument is well listenable.

But, apart these details, "Subconscious Lobotomy" is burdened by some important flaws that undermines its enjoyment. The first one is, surely, the fact that it lacks of real brutality and intensity also because the rare blast-beats are often expressed during short sections but, despite this, these 3 guys prefer to focus their efforts on not so particularly heavy mid-tempos made a bit complicated by the patterns of the drummer. Secondly, the structure of the songs is not so fluid considering also that Gravewards tends, curiously, to repeat the same passages again and again even for an entire minute with the result to not developing very well the musical discourse. Unfortunately, the total absence of the guitar solos influence too the quality of the demo while I think they could be used to create, at least, a classically sick death metal atmosphere.
Ergo, what can I suggest to Gravewards? Make more violent and faster your assault using also some guitar solos! But shame: in fact, we are talking about a band that believes a lot in the cause of death metal to sell their last copies of "Subconscious Lobotomy" with the Scottish 'zine Dehumanized as an attachment. And now, Gravewards have announced one month ago the release of their debut album through the US label Unspeakable Axe Records!

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1 - Casket Entrapment
2 - Subconscious Lobotmy
3 - Crawling Chaos
4 - Deathwomb Incubation


Nikos - vocals/guitars
Fotis - bass
Vasilis - drums


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