Fiendish Regression


Oh my...what a boulder! If 2002's Back From The Grave signaled the return of one […]
By Thodoris Pantazopoulos
September 28, 2004
Grave - Fiendish Regression album cover

Oh my...what a boulder! If 2002's Back From The Grave signaled the return of one of the most original and legendary old-school Death Metal bands, this one ladies and gents is like a stream of kicks and punches straight in the nuts! There are bands that try to freshen up our memories by satisfyingly copying the bosses and deliver qualitative but surely b-class music. There are others, named as projects, which are guided by musicians and their passion about the musical movement that gushed in the dawn of 90's. Tell me though, who the hell needs all those if the REAL thing is out there, ready to kick everyone's ass?
Grave is a great band. No matter if they don't hold the reputation other bands do, (Entombed,Dismember etc) they are being considered as one of the 4 or 5 best bands in the genre. And if you doubt that, try listening to ANY of their studio releases and certify the band's evident superiority to all those who claim to be performing Death Metal as it was meant to be. And as long as they continue bringing out such impressive releases, they will manage for a long, long time the genre's reins.
I won't attempt making a thorough report for each song; after all, the sound's distinctive mark doesn't leave much space for experimentation or totally innovative ideas. The band delivers, from the beginning of the album, first class Death Metal and even if the genre is quite saturated it's more than enough that Grave correspond adequately to the standards that monumental albums have long before set. I should though stand on 2 points of this album that make it really special and impressive.
First of all, the gloomy and chilling atmosphere the bands succeeds to channel throughout the whole album. Music is something more than just matching 2 good riffs, a fine solo and an impressive refrain. It's personality that makes an album special, the artist's stigma that elevates it to the upmost musical value. Grave was always a band with intense style and this album is no exception in this situation. Yes, it's still typical Death Metal; it still has the multi-thousand heard brutal vocals, distorted guitars and gross rhythm section. There's nothing new in all those but the point is that Fiendish Regression is not ONLY just these things, if you know what I'm saying.
Secondly, the eminent production cannot be disregarded. However classy Grave's material may be, no matter how skilled the band is, I believe that Tommy Tagtren did an excellent job in the Abyss studios despite Grave's diversified sound in relation to other bands recording there( Marduk, The Forsaken, Amon Amarth and thousands more). So every single thing is heard crystal clear inside this album and despite the modern production, the primal feeling sturdily stands in the horizon.
I won't even mention the purchase's necessity for the Death metalheads, surely a buy or die one. As for the others, the sad truth is that Grave will still remain a well hidden treasure for the insiders and not a broadly consumed band. The reason is simple; If they haven't already given them a chance with their previous amazing albums in the past, there's no reason why they'll do it now. Neither their music's level nor their tours with outstanding bands as Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, God Dethroned, Exodus etc must mean anything to them. That's fine with me, it's only their loss they don't give Grave a chance. If you consider yourself a stern Death Metal listener, Fiendish Regression is one this year's top notches. Don't miss it.

8 / 10


"Fiendish Regression" Track-listing:

Last Journey
Trial By Fire
Out Of The Light
Inner Voice

Grave Lineup:

Ola Lindgren - Guitar & Vocals
Jonas Torndal - Guitar
Fredda Isaksson - Bass
Cristofer Barkensjo - Drums

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