Gravewürm – The Bestial Hordes

God forbid anyone try to make an oldschool Celtic Frost/Hellhammer worship band these days, because I’m pretty sure that Gravewürm has an absolute stranglehold on the chug-riff market. If there’s a good Celtic Frost chug riff out there, Gravewürm have come up with it three times over. And ‘Battle Thrones’ probably has the best riff that such a riff paradigm could manage; you know, the kind that makes you affect an intimidating, pursed-lip look and nod your head with the groove while playing air guitar. I’d say that Gravewürm progressed with ‘The Bestial Hordes’, but that, as always, would be a terrible lie. What you have here, like with all Gravewürm releases, is a series of heavy riffs, rasping vocals, and staunchly oldschool spirit.

I guess what allows Gravewürm to survive while making such straightforward music is all a matter of attitude. The band is able to deliver their style with such conviction and dedication that you can’t help but be enchanted by it. Either you dig the chug riffs, ultra-simple drumming, and throaty vocals, or you don’t. There’s really no middle ground. Gravewürm has been worshipping the same set of bands for nearly two decades, and they’re probably not going to stop anytime soon. The music on ever Gravewürm release is essentially the same, only with an extra bit of tightness to the performances and writing every time which make them a bit better each time. The root sound, though, is exactly as it was back in ’94: raw, uncompromising, and remarkably straightforward.

One of the few things that DOES change with a Gravewürm release is the production; in this case, it’s some of the best that the band has had, with a powerful drum sound and very good guitar tone. It captures the intricacies (or lack thereof) of this music with adequate rawness and fidelity to truly express the sound that the band is going for. And that sound is the same as always: brutal, though not in a modern way, with riffs that they pound into you one by one over the course of each of these five tracks. While it’s doubtful that you’ll be able to find this release, being limited to 66 copies, if you can track it down somehow, it’s worth a listen, like all Gravewürm material. It is a niche piece, but it is a niche perfectly filled.


~ by noktorn on December 16, 2007.

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