June 17, 2013 in Reviews
The Sea Grave
Reviewed by Sebastian Kluth
Lately, I stumbled across an interesting band called Graveyard. The four men come from sunny Barcelona in Spain, and have a little weakness for Lovecraftian literature. This is also the case for me, and I have already listened to many great bands inspired by Lovecraft’s stories: like the German gothic metal group The Vision Bleak (which is still one of my favorite bands, and about to release a new record this year). Graveyard received a couple of very positive reviews for their first record One With The Dead, back in 2009, and also for their brand new follow-up The Sea Grave, which features very fitting cover artwork. I decided to give this second album a shot, and sat down with it for a couple of spins.
The atmospheric Lovecraftian instrumental “R’lyeh I” immediately builds up a strong conceptual atmosphere. There are a total of four instrumental songs on this record which are all very short but perfectly executed. They sound dark, desperate, and the transitions connect very well with the regular songs.
Sadly, the rest of the release can’t keep up with these instrumentals. The songs on this record vary from doom metal to old school death and speed metal passages. Overall, the record has more slow and mid tempo passages than fast paced work. This might be all right for a couple of songs, but all non-instrumental tracks on this release sound very similar and exchangeable. The album simply lacks diversity and innovation. A few Swedish bands come to my mind when I listen to this kind of music: such as Dismember, Grave, Unleashed, or very early Therion. These references aren’t bad per se, but this record simply offers nothing new in comparison. Twenty years ago, these guys would have had a great career before them, but nowadays the whole thing sounds too old-fashioned to crawl out of the underground. While the release surely has a coherent guiding concept, and will likely appeal to genre fans, I had hoped for some more diversity in conjunction with the conceptual approach.
Doom and traditional Swedish death metal fans should give this release a few spins, and might get a positive surprise from the four Spanish musicians. Those who expect a more atmospheric and conceptual approach in connection to the Lovecraftian lyrics should look elsewhere. I fully understand the positive reviews for this band by more traditional metal fans, but it’s probably not my cup of tea.
3.0 // 5
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