‘Rites of the Pentagram / Metal of Death’
(Ibex Moon Records)
Bullet belts, whisky bottles, spiked armbands, old school death metal and thrashing madness aplenty. How could one not love that? Well, don’t ask me that question since I really dig this band’s music and couldn’t care less for those unfortunate wimps who’d prefer their metal clean, nice sounding, sterile and devoid of hellishly unclean fun. Yep, I said ‘fun’ in a death metal review, get used to it. Gravehill sound as if they have been put to hibernation in the late ‘80’s/early 90’s and awaken now, going straight to the jugular, like the barbaric entity they really are. Ugly, gritty, powerful and genuinely dedicated to the metal of death, this is a real die hard’s delight that shouldn’t be missed. Matt Harvey has joined Gravehill recently, now that’s good news for the fans, and a good prediction for the next full-length of the band.
CALIBER 666 ‘Blood Fueled Chaos’
(Ibex Moon Records)
These guys have incorporated in their name the number associated with that particular band from ‘Europe, Victoria, Australia’ that I simply love, so we’re on a dubious start already. Caliber 666 is a Swedish band, however, and it shows on this debut album of theirs, as musically this certainly is a nod to the works of all those bands that made Sweden synonymous to death metal back in the early and mid 90’s. The band more that clearly pronounces their influences, as both L-G Petrov and Matti Karki make cameo appearances on a song each, so you know what you’re in for, even if I’m not big on such moves generally. By now everyone should have guessed the sound – solid rhythm section (extra points for mixing the bass guitar loudly), melodic guitar chops that sound quite Dismember-inspired overall and a growling vocalist who manages to be coherent enough for the style. Not surprisingly original, mind you, but a decent catch of death metal, just check them out whether they’re up to your own standards of cool, or not. Don’t be a lazy bastard, nowadays a good find could be two mouse clicks away. Oh, the times…