Saturday 5 December 2015

Gruesome - Savage Land (Deluxe Edition)


1. Savage Land
2. Trapped In Hell
3. Demonized
4. Hideous
5. Gangrene
6. Closed Casket
7. Psychic Twin
8. Gruesome
9. Land Of No Return (Death Cover - Bonus Track)
10. Black Magic (Slayer Cover - Bonus Track)

For all intense and purposes, Gruesome is a homage to Death (the band!). It's gory imagery and old-school death metal has connections to the mighty Exhumed, Possessed, Malevolent Creation and of course Death To All. Formed last year after various members toured with Death To All, Gruesome wanted to pay tribute to Chuck Schuldiner and Death though their own brand of death metal. Savage Land (their debut album) was released via Relapse in April featuring eight original songs, then later released as a deluxe version featuring additional Death and Slayer covers. 

If you’re aware of the pedigree of Gruesome’s members, you’d be expecting good things and unsurprisingly they deliver. Opening the title-track, Gruesome presents well-produced and precise death filled with old-school thrash and plenty of Floridian style. The guitars switch between twin-harmonies and ripping solos without any histrionics while the rhythm section adds plenty of low-end and kick-drum excellence. Their method is definitely of the shock and awe variety. Savage Land ends abruptly and in it’s wake, you’re presented with the catchy opening riffs of Trapped In Hell. The rest of the song is pretty catchy as well. Part of Gruesome’s appeal is the fact that they’re able to blend the old with the new to create something accessible, while not allowing their music to be watered down. Sticking to the five-minute mark at most is good enough. If you’re after neck-snapping death, look no further than Demonized. It may be the longest number on Savage Land, but it starts with a real shot in the arm and proceeds to batter you. Thrashing death all the way! Gruesome weaves in some sanguine doom/death atmosphere during Hideous. The further into Savage Land you venture, the more menacing it gets. Gangrene is equally as horrifying as the medical condition it’s name after and sounds beautifully murky. It does highlight more of the band’s instrumental prowess as well. That solo mid-way through is ace. The gutturals during Closed Casket seem to reach new depths somehow, while Gruesome’s new found urgency that signals the second half of Savage Land brings more power to the table. Psychic Twin channels Gruesome’s inner Slayer to great effect, while keeping to true to their death blueprint instead of just merely aping the thrash legends. Their last original number, Gruesome, is a mid-paced affair with flashes of up-tempo death. This expanded edition of Savage Land is rounded out by two choice covers. Firstly, Gruesome covers Land Of No Return by Death, whom they collectively owe a lot to musically. They end it all with an outstanding cover of Slayer’s Black Magic. The guitar sound seems to jump right out at you on this one and it’s a great way to close the record. If it’s straight-up death metal you’re looking for, with no pretentious bells and whistles then Savage Land is really all you need. Cracking record!

You can stream and purchase a download of Savage Land here:-

Grab LP or CD versions here via Relapse Records -

Gruesome Facebook -
Relapse Records Facebook -

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